Waterparks – Entertainment
Released: January 26th, 2018
Awsten Knight | vocals
Geoff Wigington | guitar, vocals
Otto Wood | drums, vocals
The trio in Waterparks have returned to release their second album, two years after releasing their debut full length, Double Dare. While these boys may not be so well known to Australian pop punk fans, they are definitely making themselves heard and becoming increasingly popular internationally, having major success in the UK, as well as having done many tours throughout the United States.
Having released Double Dare two years ago, it’s safe to say that Waterparks fans have got those lyrics forever locked and loaded in their brains with the catchy beats and accompanying words to sing out loud, but it was due time that they released something new. Fans went into a frenzy when their first single “Blonde” was dropped and what a hell of a single to release as you announce an album. With a strong punk vibe, it had the classic sound that the band are known for, along with an edgy, guttural, growl that is sung out by lead vocalist, Awsten Knight which was an element that has never been introduced into one of their tracks before.
I had expectations that this album was first announced of what it was going to sound like, having based that opinion off their previous album but once I tuned into Entertainment it took a listen or two for me to get used to it. At first it sounded a bit more towards the pop side of things, which I won’t lie — it had me a bit worried but I was quite surprised, not knowing what to think but the more that I listened to it, and having gone back to refresh myself of their previous tracks, I realised that this release is classic Waterparks through and through. It is obvious that the band have been able to explore their sound and develop something incredible from it, and in a way that it is noticeable to listeners to be able to hear the progression throughout the album.
Kicking off with a fun and funky pop infused track titled “11-11” that starts out with a sci-fi sounding introduction. While this still has an alternative undertone, it is definitely more on the pop side which is by no means a bad thing. Following along is “Blonde” and “Peach (Lobotomy)” which yes, the track title sounds much more misleading and grim than it really is. This upbeat rock tune is catchy and one that is a song that I can imagine being played on the radio, and it is this song which I’m able to hear the talented riffs of guitar played by Geoff Wigington, standing out to be something quite special. While this is continuing to be on the more pop path, it is a song that I find myself humming along to for hours at a time in the middle of my day job.
“Not Warriors” a standout of a tune, being much more audibly rock than the past few. It is this song that I come back to in terms of Otto Wood’s drumming, finding myself noticing every different sound being created. To put it bluntly, you can hear just how much he is smashing the shit out of them and it works so well on this track. “TANTRUM” is a song that introduces vocoder work and I have to give credit to them as it is a perfect example of how to appropriately use a vocoder and create a song that is so different to anything that I’ve heard released before. There are two songs I really want to highlight from this album, however, as they are probably my two favourites from the record, having such a strong sound that I keep finding myself going back to them to listen to them over and over. “Rare” being one of them as it is a track which I feel the vibe of their previous album being brought forward to their newest release. It is a stylisation that is not only familiar, but it is one that works so well for the band. The other being “Crybaby” in which lead singer, Awsten, has openly said the vocals in this track are the vocals he recorded during the demo version and it was one of the worst days of his life. After listening to this many times over, you can hear the sadness and emotion through his voice which is not only something I respect and commend him on for including in the final cut, but it is one of the best things to hear such raw, honest emotion and being able to connect to it.
With their eclectic style, I feel that Waterparks appeal to a large variety of listeners. The alternative, pop punk lovers and people who aren’t too into that style of music, but still want something non-mainstream. While I did find that the beginning of the album sounded a bit more pop based, the second half boasted sounds of punk and rock influences that is the trio’s more well known style. One thing that I did find interesting when listening to this record is that although these boys have an absence of a bass player, you are absolutely unaware that you’re missing an instrument that normally is a core piece to any punk or rock bands music.
There is no doubt about it that these guys will rise in popularity and very quickly with their down to earth, playful and humble personalities. Their music is fun, catchy, creative, and sometimes just a little bit cheesy but you can’t help loving it — it is a perfect combination of and I say this because I have never heard a band create music in quite this manner before. It puts a twist on pop punk as we traditionally know it.
How do I know that Entertainment is an album that will be suited for anybody and everybody? While I was listening to it to work on this review, my family have also been listening to it and I caught my Mum having a little dance along to a track that was being played and genuinely having fun, a smile painted across her face. Now THAT is why I say that these dudes stand out from any other traditional band in the pop punk genre. Whether you’ve never heard of Waterparks before and you’re on the hunt for new music, or you’re a fan of theirs already, I highly recommend that you listen to this record.
Waterparks – Entertainment tracklist:
3. Peach (Lobotomy)
4. We Need To Talk
5. Not Warriors
6. Lucky People
10. Sleep Alone
Rating: I rate this album a solid 8/10 as it’s fresh and fun and you’ll regret it if you don’t check it out. I predict big things from these guys, so you’ll want to know them early on. Plus the album art is incredible.
Entertainment is out January 26th via Equal Vision Records. Pre-Order your copy right here — or grab a merch bundle right here.
Review by Heather McNab.
Revisit my interview with Waterparks right here
Catch the band when they support The Maine in Australia on their upcoming tour kicking off Next Week.
The Maine – 2018 Australian Tour
30th Jan: Amplifier Bar, Perth 18+
31st Jan: Fowlers Live, Adelaide Lic AA
2nd Feb: Corner Hotel, Melbourne 18+
3rd Feb: Factory Theatre, Sydney Lic AA *SOLD OUT*
4th Feb: Triffid, Brisbane Lic AA