Label: Hopeless Records
Released: 11th October 2019
We’ve all been there. We’ve worked on something for a while, but it’s just not happening. Something is wrong. At some point a wrong turn has been made, and now the whole project is pointing the wrong way down a one way street. So what do you do next
When it comes to Waterparks, they trash the lot and start again. That’s what happened with ‘Fandom’, the band’s third full-length. Back in spring, leader Awsten Knight revealed on Twitter he’d wiped the whole thing from his laptop. In double-quick time, they were back at work, laying down what would eventually become ‘Fandom’. Spoiler alert: it was almost certainly the right call.
A genre-fluid collection of adrenaline rush emotion, it’s the kind of record which is always on edge. Built mainly around the break up of a relationship, it ties in fan culture, emotional uncertainty and the modern realities of being a band. Lead track ‘Turbulent’ isn’t selling anything short; it really is.
From the scene-skewering sabre of ‘Watch What Happens Next’ through the simmering bitterness of ‘Easy To Hate’, those harsh moments are wrapped in a saccharine shell – bittersweet nuggets of extreme emotion. ‘High Definition’ swoons through the insecurity, while ‘New Bloom’ twinkles with telling barbs and self-doubt.
At times, Awsten’s vocals sound almost vicious – the sharp edges of broken dreams and emotional toxicity laid out for all to see – but that’s what ‘Fandom’ embraces best. Everything turned to maximum saturation, Waterparks remain rock’s brightest hope.