A man with brightly colored, green hair screams through speakers, “You had your own Awsten Knight (hi).” This could only mean one thing, a brand new album from Waterparks called “FANDOM.”
Waterparks released their newest album, “FANDOM,” on Oct. 11. As Waterparks’ third studio album, it has been highly anticipated after the drop of their single, “Turbulent.”
Waterparks is a newer band to the pop-rock scene and started their large-crowd debut on Vans’ Warped Tour before their first studio album dropped. The band quickly grew in popularity as they ended up headlining Vans’ Warped Tour in 2018, drawing some of the largest crowds of the event.
Now, the band is more popular than they’ve ever been. So much so that their new album is being sold at Target, which is a big deal. It’s an even bigger deal to sell out both pre-sales and store copies. This may be in part due to the chaotic-good energy of the members, but the band’s music is a huge part of it. The factor of the sales of the album gives just a small idea of how great it truly is.
“FANDOM” is a different kind of energy for the band. While Waterparks has truly shown fans many different sides of them, even the really weird ones, the new album shows a complex side of the band, especially the singer, Awsten Knight.
Knight has always been one to keep fans on the edge of their seat since he isn’t afraid to spill his true feelings into a song. In this latest album, Knight shares many experiences with fans from thoughts over his ex, to thoughts about moving on into the new, never shying away from being real.
With this new energy comes an updated sound. There is still the old Waterparks sound of deep vocals over a quirky melody, but this time there’s the addition of a pop dream vibe. Songs like “Easy To Hate” embody this new sound. While it may not be as hardcore as old songs and songs like “Turbulent,” it’s something new for fans to explore and soak themselves into the dreamy sound.
In fact, the dreamy sound is one of the best parts of the album since it makes each song its own and so catchy. “I Miss Having Sex But At Least I Don’t Want To Die Anymore” might be the catchiest song on the album due to the light, soft pop feel of it. Of course, there still is the rough, hardcore, guitar and drum filled songs like in “Watch What Happens Next.”
The album in totality combines a blend of harmonic vocals and melodic instrumentals. It gives an interesting contrast between the lyrics and the music since normally the instrumentals are more harmonic. Knight pushes his voice to new levels due to these high and low harmonies in songs like “I Felt Younger When We Met.” Guitarist, Geoff Wigington, and drummer, Otto Wood, also push themselves in these new songs with different riffs and beats to match the new style and stay light and soft above Knight’s vocals.
Besides the musicality of the album, the lyrics only provide a further love for the band and “FANDOM.” Knight has always combined ironic and sarcastic lyrics with deeply felt ones. This new album is no exception. From funny lyrics like, “You had your own Pete Wentz and Patrick combined,” to deep hitting lyrics like, “All that I can do is fall in blame with you.” That’s what makes Waterparks such a relatable band. Everyone is going through these rough, serious, and heart-breaking moments but everyone can find solace in the band’s lyrics since they are equally up-lifting, saddening and, most importantly, healing.
Waterparks is a band for the broken, the depressed, the cheerful, the resentful and everything else in between. There’s so many feelings and experiences packed into these 15 songs on this album. Each song tells a different story and invites the listener to live through the story along with Knight. These stories pull the listener in and make one a true fan of Waterparks.
Waterparks is a special band full of three special members. With a special band comes a very special album for every type of person. It’s filled with so many pieces that make up the puzzle to a hard-hitting, soft rock, passionate, catchy, inspiring album. And after a listen to it, it’s easy to see why Waterparks has the strongest “FANDOM.”