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November 2019
Album review

Waterparks - Fandom

Everything turned to maximum saturation, Waterparks remain rock’s brightest hope.
Label: Hopeless Records
Released: 11th October 2019
Rating: ★★★★
Waterparks - Fandom
Published: 10:58 am, October 17, 2019Words: Stephen Ackroyd.

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.

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