A Review of FANDOM by Waterparks

Waterparks is a boy band that refuses to subscribe to a genre. The band is made up of three members, led by songwriter and now author, Awsten Knight. Some people may call the band pop-punk, pop-rock, or just punk. In the end, good music is good music and Waterparks' newest album, FANDOM is an album I can see myself coming back to. The only downside of the album would be that it is a little rushed, but overall it features excellent songwriting and captures all the aspects of the band's music that I love.

Starting with the first track: “Cherry Red” is too short! The held out vocals of the chorus hold so much emotion it gets stuck easily. It’s not a perfect transition into “Look What Happens Next,” but it’s lovely and does help introduce the album.

Skipping to my favorite: “Dream Boy” captures the band that did “Stupid for You.” It’s sugary and catchy and all that I loved about Double Dare and it recurs within the album in “Reboot” and “Zone Out.”

For reference: The previous album, Entertainment, was not cohesive, so this album seems to take a better approach to being one unit.

My other favorite: “Easy to Hate” is one of the best on the album. The guitars are edgy enough to give that punk vibe with a poppy chorus make the song irresistibly Waterparks. The only song that competes is “Dream Boy,” but Dream Boy is completely sweet while “Easy to Hate” has that bittersweet edge that aches when you listen and sing along.

The one that caught me off guard: “Telephone” sounds almost like it’s off Cluster.

The guitar hits those bottom strings with soprano notes in an amazing way.

The sad one: “Never Bloom” starts with acoustic guitar with a graceful sound like a slow “Lucky People,” and even seems to have the same strumming pattern. It is a little repetitive, but the song is so personal and relatable it is easy to love.

The funny one: “I Miss Having Sex But At Least I Don’t Want To Die Anymore” This song has one of the oddest, realest titles that I did not expect actually to be in the song. The line in it song “When are you gonna sing for me” is catchy and quickly gets stuck in your head. This brings us back to the vibe of the lyrics “I like happy songs with titles that don’t match at all” from “Gloom Boys” except in this case the title is actually the chorus of the song.

The Smash hit: “War Crimes” is the most loud and energetic song with a drum beat that keeps the song moving and deep bass guitar sounds that give the song a solid kick. Some of the lyrics are just stellar “Knight in shining plastic” is not only a reference to the lead singer’s last name but a twist on a classic image that is just . . . wow. The bridge of this song has some aggressive vocals that are reminiscent of “TANTRUM” and I’m so glad the passion is still in their music.

How it ends: “I Felt Younger When We Met,” starts with the somber lyrics “I said I’d love you till I’m dead so I must be dead” in an edited voice that instantly hooks the listener. This references the first song on the album, which helps tie it all together. This song also mentions sleep like “Sleep Alone” does as the last song on Entertainment. The ending of this one is really sudden, which isn’t great. But it is a good way to end an album.

Overall, this album is far better than the previous album in my opinion. It has the sweetness of one of my favorite albums ever, Double Dare, some of the aggression and angst from Entertainment, and even some songs reminiscent of their oldest hits. This album is purely Waterparks in their entirety and it reminds me why I have stuck with the band and their music.

Gifs from Giphy.com