For Hayley Williams, the vocalist of ascendant punk-pop quartet Paramore, sexuality is a tool that can be used for good and evil, and sometimes for both at once. On her band's breakthrough single "Misery Business," she wins back a crush who'd been lured away by a brazen hussy. "What's a whore? You're nothing more, that'll never change," she taunts. "I never meant to brag, but I've got him where I want him now."
Finally, an emo hit in which the boy gets reduced to a sex trophy. "I had to watch this chick use sex like a machete, and it really hurt me," Williams said. "But what was shameful is that that's what I was really feeling afterwards."
If Paramore's rousing post-Sunny Day Real Estate fare has more strident feminist intentions, so far they're only implied. But Williams' outsized, ocher-haired persona is an anomaly in the black-hoodied morass of the Warped Tour set, and the Tennessee-based band's recent album "Riot!" looks to follow chart breakthroughs from Fueled by Ramen labelmates Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco.
It's exciting to imagine Paramore's future with the kind of platform that heavy rotation on KROQ and a sold-out Wiltern gig can offer. Williams may be only one Le Tigre record and a Bitch magazine subscription away from becoming a Corin Tucker for the Facebook crowd, and it needs one. But that's a fight the very young band (Williams is only 18) intentionally hasn't taken up yet.