Waterparks are back with their sophomore release of ‘Entertainment’. As much as they are labelled as ‘Pop-punk’, Waterparks are far from just a google search definition of the genre and expand on their own options within this album.
Original singles off the album ‘Blonde’, ‘Lucky People’ and ‘Not Warriors’ are a pretty good all-round sounding trio for the whole album. All three tracks differ but follow a similarity to their counterparts within the rest of the unheard album. ‘Blonde’ instantly brings a ‘Cluster’ era feel with its more upbeat heaviness felt on previous releases. ‘Lucky People’, the lighter love infused acoustic singer pops across a lighter, soft track halfway into ‘Entertainment’, splitting up the album a little with its simplistic, yet effective melody. While ‘Lucky People’ can’t really be compared too much to its counterpart tracks, Peach (Lobotomy)’ does have its fun little acoustic sections in the verses (kind of like the early-transformation days Taylor Swift feel) which brings it into this differing atmosphere. Not Warriors’ is more representative Of the synth side of ‘Entertainment’. Waterparks definitely expand on their creative use of synth tracks within this record with tracks such as ‘Crybaby’ taking on a less traditional guitar/drum/bass structure.
However, as much as the tasteful little synth additions add a little pop to the album, sometimes the watery synth style of tracks such as ‘Crybaby’ and ‘We Need To Talk’ don’t work quite as well. Crybaby’ offers a rather haunting atmosphere as it opens, but as the track further develops onwards the repetition makes this track seem a little…perhaps underdeveloped? Perhaps it’s just a side of Waterparks we aren’t as exposed to as their other styles, but this track, while having its good, different style tends to differentiate just a little too much from the rest of the album.
Yet, the real alt-rock standouts Of this album fall down to ‘Rare’, ’11:11′ and ‘TANTRUM’. ‘Rare’ falls in the middle, not as synth wave as ‘Crybaby’, yet not as angsty as ‘TANTRUM’ but falls between while holding its own on the album. ‘Rare’ is one of those tracks that brings back the fond familiarity of their debut album ‘Double Dare’ in its flair and style, highlighting how the band have improved but still keep little stylistic similarities to their predecessors. ’11:11′ thoroughly expresses the rock side within Waterparks with heavy guitar patterns, loud drums and an overall point to the Alt-rock side Waterparks can present. Now: ‘TANTRUM’. People say ‘TANTRUM’ is the ‘Entertainment’ version of ‘Little Violence’, but it’s so much more than that’. Tantrum’ is by far the most overflowing angst filled track on this record and rightly so. Following the encounters of the band dealing with people using their friends only to get close to the band. The sarcasm and anger directed in this track is hardly subverted from little sarcastic robotic clips stating ‘that’s what’s cool right?’ to the hardest, loudest punk ending to the track on record.
The lyrical theme of this album is quite clear, love, distance with a little ‘quality shade’ thrown at bands who have used Waterparks in the past. The struggle always falls with bands creating a second album that stands greater than their debut and Waterparks haven’t just tried, they’ve succeeded.