Waterparks’ “Fandom” – Album Review
Waterparks’ third album is finally here. Properly named “Fandom” for their steady presences online along with their faithful fanbase.
Fandom addresses a variety of topics, from their online following to personal conflict, and the process of changing record labels. Fandom is much more personal and blunt.
“I was really conscious of that this time. Last time it was still extremely honest; I’ve definitely never been disingenuous with lyrics, but there were definitely things that were written in a more metaphorical sense. This time, I was like, “I want to keep it very blunt because I don’t want anything to be misinterpreted.” When I was doing the lyrics on (the album “Entertainment”), it felt really good to do songs like “TANTRUM” where I was just saying what meant.”Awsten Knight on the album, Fandom in his interview with Daily Bruin.
Despite their strong presence online, Waterparks hopes to continue to grow and succeed not only in streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, but also in CD sales. They are currently on Twitter excitedly tweeting about their album being sold in stores such as Target.
The album and the band hit you as a very happy go-lucky pop rock band with the initial listen. Despite having more blunt lyrics the sound is deceivingly “happy.” Once you listen to their lyrics, you can hear their true raw emotions about their will to succeed and the hardships they’ve dealt with building up to this album
Their sound ranges from bubblegum pop, sappy ballad, electronica/techno, with trickles of the guitar accompanied by Knight’s dreamy vocals.
This review will not comment on every song but highlight some of the standouts.
The second song in the album, “Watch What Happens Next” encompasses the hunger they have to succeed along with the hardships they’ve dealt with as a band.
“I wanna be a millionaire before I’m 30 // But saying that out loud is probably gonna hurt me // Got nothing from our label // Bitxh, pay me what you owe me // If you play guitar you can’t want things // And if you really love me // You should want the best for me // Everyone is sad when // When bands break up.”
Knight expresses his desires and wishes for his group along with having to deal with the expectations of his fandom. The spiky riff and sharp screams from Knight display the twist and turns they experience as they struggle to balance their own desires along with those of their fandom.
The third song is commentary on how people expect Knight to be some “Dream Boy” for them. Untouchable but desirable. It has a very bubblegum pop feel accompanied with electronica. Despite the upbeat sound, the lyrics tell a much different story. Knight is unhappy about the expectations forcefully placed on him and is left confused.
“Turbulent” is surprisingly not about riding a plane. At least not literally. It seems to be more focused on the ups and down of a rocky relationship.
“I believe but not in you and me, so // So fxxk yourself and fxxk your feelings//
I believe but not in you and me, so// I’d unfxxk you if I could // I’d unlove you like I should have // Months before I did.”
Knight’s voice is much more harsh, almost sneering like and distorted. The music also shifts and focuses more on guitar riffs and the drums. The song is clearly a post break up song and one that isn’t afraid to express their truer feelings.
Other standouts are “I Miss Having Sex But At Least I Don’t Wanna Die Anymore,” “Telephone,” “Easy to Hate,” “I Felt Younger When We Met,” and “War Crimes.” Fandom head on addresses difficult topics in a light and digestible matter. Waterparks is an open book and invites their listeners to the ups and downs of their experiences.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
All tickets for Waterparks’ North American Tour can be purchased here.
11/15 – Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre
11/16 – Charleston, SC @ The Music Farm
11/17 – Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
11/19 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore Charlotte
11/20 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of the Living Arts
11/22 – Reading, PA @ Reverb
11/23 – Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
11/25 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
11/26 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
11/29 – Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre
11/30 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater
12/01 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s12/03 – Detroit, MI @ Saint Andrew’s Hall
12/04 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues Cleveland
12/06 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
12/07 – Kansas City, MO @ The Truman
12/08 – Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
12/10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
12/13 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
12/15 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
12/16 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
12/17 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues Anaheim
12/18 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
12/20 – San Antonio, TX @ The Aztec Theatre
12/21 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues Dallas
12/23 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live