If one night selling out in 2 hours doesnt surprise you, then perhaps 2 sold out shows in Manchester might. Returning to the UK after two years are American pop/rock/alternative neon collection of genres trio Waterparks, embarking on their newest album ‘Fandom’ tour. With night 1 appearing to be a sucess over social media, theres always a possibility of a lacking show. It is safe to say this wasn’t.
Nearly three years since the release of ‘Dreamless‘, Fallujah are back on track to present what could be their biggest risk yet. An altered line-up and adapted sound, the band are going forward to release their new album ‘Undying Light‘, starting with their new single ‘Ultraviolet’.
As a comparison to their older material from ‘Dreamless’, this is a change. With new vocalist Antonio Palermo taking the reins, there is a noticeable difference in the raspy screams of Ultraviolet compared to Alex’s harsh lows featured over their past material. While Palermo is a good vocalist, his accentuated screams don’t fit over the track. Perhaps more tuned to a post-hardcore styled band over atmospheric metal, the vocal difference contrasts a little too much for the track.
The interesting lead guitar work still holds strong in the track, lifting the track upwards with the clean cutting solos. It seems that while every instrumental has its place, the guitars are almost drowned out by the vocal layers of the track. At points, it almost becomes a battle as to which aspect takes the lead, instead of a balanced flow. Midway through the track is where a balance is almost reached, and just needs to be tweaked and spread through the track to balance it. Despite the differences the track brings, the lyrical content is still up to a high standard, even with Palermo taking the lead on song writing. With the whole album based around a ‘snapshot of a disillusioned, narcissistic society’ (Scott, guitar) hopefully we can continue to see this high standard highlighted through the full album.
The main point is, this is most definitely a change for Fallujah. Taking a turn into a new route is inevitable, even if their first attempt does seem a little generic amongst their discography. One point is clear – this is not the old Fallujah and probably will never be. From a single, it’s hard to judge the upcoming albums potential, but the single is not bad. From a standalone viewpoint, the release is good, however it has and will cause a few issues for older fans of the metal quartet. Their new album is to be released on March 15th, then we can truly see where they are going.
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.