A slap in the face to pop-punk monotony
If you know anything about the Houston-based three-pieceÂ Waterparks, youâll know it was inevitable anything they released this year would be special. For the uninitiated though; every now and again, in the monotony and regurgitation of a scene like Pop-Punk, you get a band whose music shifts things for the better and are praised for it. Waterparks is that band.
In late 2016, they released a debut Double Dare
that would have the curse of being infectious to all who came across it,Â Entertainment
Â however projects a parallel to this.Â The album is unapologetic as opens with a one-two punch in the form ofÂ 11:11. The electronic intro catches you off-guard before jumping into a catchy, upbeat hook that is destined to be an ear-worm.Â Following on from that,Â Blonde
Â keeps up the tone with energetic guitars and wonderfully intense drums (courtesy of Geoff Wingington
Â on Guitars andÂ Otto Wood, drums) which is expertly mixed with the bandâs almost trademark use of electronics. The song is a great example of how lead singer Awsten Knight
shows off his fast-paced, intricate lyric style throughout the album.
But, among theÂ high and loud electric attitude that make this record so appealing, there are clearly personalÂ aspects of influence to the writing of Entertainment
. In the lyrics and the songwriting style that Knight adopts, passion is the name of the game. As a result, youâll be hard pressed to find a lyric or line without some intimate detail to it. This feature has been present on their previous releases, but the result is different this time as they refuse to box themselves into one sonic style for the sake for the songs.
The band is not shy of going off-kilter from the punk-rock roots theyâre known for as Entertainment
includes moments of straight-up pop influence. While this has the potential to rub some fans and die-hards the wrong way (a fact I'm sure the band knows), Waterparks manages to not sell themselves short with this sound, which is impressive. They still have their clever lyrics and personal feel to it, capped off with irresistible hooks and melodies that is unmistakable as Waterparks. So, they put down their guitars for songs likeÂ Crybaby
Â orÂ We Need to Talk
, it doesnât come across as though the songs having lost anything, as thereâs still more than enough substance to make it attractive.
Thereâs hardly a song on the album where the band doesnât cry out with emotion or passion and a raw honesty. That last point is probably best illustrated in self-proclaimed diss track,Â TANTRUM
. Itâs a real no-holds-barred power song with heavy instrumentals and just an all-round more punk feel to it as its angry, fast vibe alongside those obviously directed lyrics is an unmistakeable dig at anyone and everyone who ever dared to cross Mr Knight. If anything, its very nature in being a diss track probably subtracts from its substance as an overall song.
In the lead up to Entertainment
, Knight suggest that the lead single Blonde
is âthe most Double Dare song on the albumâ. Thatâs not necessarily the case, as songs likeÂ Peach (Lobotomy)Â
andÂ Sleep AloneÂ
do still embody the energy from that album, and then you have a song likeÂ Rare
, which just rocks â no other way to say it, really.
is clearly an album without compromise. Instead of sticking to a pop-punk bracket that many may expect them to, theyâve just created good songs without being restricted by something as arbitrary as genre. As a result, Waterparks has created a triumph, both musically and personally.