Alec Reviews Music: Waterparks brings fresh music to a diluted pop-punk scene

Alec Erickson

Say what you will about the pop-punk genre. It does not really matter which camp you belong to anymore, it is hard to argue that anything fresh comes through. That is why when something that is unique and different in the scene comes around, it is all the more special. When new kids on the block Waterparks started making a name for themselves with their extended plays and before even having a full-length album, it is hard to believe. Now finally after these few years, we have an answer, the band has finally released their debut studio album “Double Dare.”

Waterparks, based out of Houston, Texas, are relative newcomers on the scene. Forming back in 2011, the band has found much success in supporting other acts like Good Charlotte, Never Shout Never and Sleeping with Sirens. They really cemented themselves as the hot new pop punk band when they performed on the Vans Warped Tour. Members Awsten Knight, Geoff Wigington and Otto Wood have only released three E.P.s starting back in 2012. The latter of which, “Cluster” was released at the beginning of this year. It was only a matter of time before the band would release their debut full-length album. Finally, after ten months since their last E.P. we finally have “Double Dare.”

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“Double Dare” is a 13-track record that clocks out to be 45 minutes long. From front to back it is one fun record to listen to. There is enough variety and recombination of genres to keep everything fresh. Before you know it, the record is over and you keep coming back to listen again and again. This record is clean, well-mixed and just a little bit weird, but in a good way. It is different from everything else out there. There is a lot to appreciate what is being done with this record.

Musically, this is so much more than just a generic pop-punk record. You can find a lot of neon-pop to heavy rock anthems and even emotional power ballads. The variety and progression of each track is what really sells this record. There is something for fans of older pop-punk bands like All Time Low and Good Charlotte and more for fans of new pop-punk. For that classic rock feel you can listen to tracks like “Little Violence” because there is a lot of electronic elements and synthesizers, though, there are flashier pop like tracks like “Royal” and “Take Her to The Moon.” There are a lot of fun tracks to just sit back and enjoy the overall quality of the song. If you want some slower paced jams that are not really meant to be danced along to, then you can check out tracks like “Powerless” or “21 Questions.” This is one of the records that has such a wide appeal to fans, that it will be hard to not find something to enjoy. You get the sense that this is more an ode to summer sometimes.

Lyrically, Awsten Knight’s vocals are something to be admired here. He provides some genuinely unique moments all throughout the record. In tracks like “Powerless” he commands the track and really sells it home. The only generic part of the record you can argue are some of the tracks being about getting out of your hometown or fighting with a girl. Nothing new really, but that does not stop Waterparks from trying to stand out above the rest when they sing about it. In tracks like “Hawaii (Stay Awake)” or “Made in America,” Knight really brings these home with his rap-like choruses, and with his range he really has no problem with delivery. It becomes easy to overlook some of the generic content when you are listening to such a fresh take, and something that really does feel like new music.

Should you listen to it?: Yes!

Waterparks have managed to deliver one of the most entertaining records in a mostly diluted scene. If you really want to listen to something new or just something that is at its very core, fun, then you have found the album you need. There is a lot to be appreciated with Waterparks right here with “Double Dare.” You will want to keep an eye on these guys before they start to blow up because they certainly are going places soon. On their way to the top, they may just change pop-punk too.