It was established quite early on that Waterparks had no interest in conforming to pop punk’s current paradigm. Combining dizzying synths, dense guitar grooves and snarky lyricism, the band were dialling pop up to 11 while the rest of the scene were channeling darker soundscapes and alternative themes.
On Entertainment, Waterparks have continued this trend, honing their craft and delivering an enthrallingly excellent album of sugar drenched pop punk bangers that re-appropriate a style initially popularized a decade ago for modern fans.
Sprawling with bouncy electronics that coat each song in a sickly sweet veneer (did we just allude to the idea that Waterparks could be the musical embodiment of a pink donut?), each hook sticks like melting honey on a hot day.
It’s unashamedly fun, at times a little somber, self-aware, brash and we love it.
Opening track, ‘11-11’ tumbles out of the gate with a chaotic ferocity, featuring pulsating bass and drums that cornerstone Awsten’s snappy-yet-heart-bearing, ”you’ve got me feeling like a walking love song”. Boisterous and bombastic, it’s a forest fire introduction to a damn crazy listen.
‘Not Warriors’ is a journey through equal parts 80s-pop worship and classic pop punk perfection, boasting a chorus hook that Alex Gaskarth wishes he wrote. ‘Rare’ is a snarling, retrospective anthem that boasts a riff that’ll have live audiences running in circles faster than Awsten’s next hair colour switch up.
‘TANTRUM’ teeters on the heavier side of things, although the band have perfected all things saccharine, the track showcases their proclivity for the abrasive as well (think ‘Citizens Of The Earth’ by Neck Deep)
Sending us into a frenzy of emotions, truly .living up to the name Entertainment the album’s narrative is thrown into fully fledged electro pop mode, with ‘Crybaby’ track fit with 808 pad beats and gaudy bass thumps. Although featuring the album’s most salient musical statement, it showcases Waterparks at their most vulnerable – it’s a tearjerker masquerading as party-banger.
Closer ‘Sleep Alone’ sits somewhere between The Killers and Green Day boasting stadium-esque funky bass pops and a vanquishing guitar solo, topping off the rollercoaster ride.
There hasn’t been an album that blurs the line so perfectly between synth-pop and honouring the traits of what makes bare-bones pop punk great since All Time Low’s seminal Nothing Personal. Entertainment finds the perfect equilibrium between angsty musings on life and love, melancholy and unadulterated fun, proving Waterparks are the scene’s most creative band in years.