Waterparks - Entertainment (Cover Artwork)


Entertainment (2018)

equal vision records

Houston band Waterparks released their sophomore album Entertainment in early 2018. The effort, which was produced by Good Charlotte frontman Benji Madden, sounds exactly how one might expect a record with a “Produced by Benji” sticker on the front to sound.

The music itself is capable and at times catchy, it has a heavy emphasis on synth and keyboard riff interludes as opposed to the punk rock bass line foundation that a lot of pop-punk bands utilize. The synth is cheesy, there is absolutely no way around it. Is the synth awful? That is a more difficult question to answer. On my first listen, I was a bit thrown off by how front and center the shiny and polished electronic vibe was, but on repeat listens It stops being as abrasive, and begins to add to the pop element within Entertainment.

I should clarify that while I am using the term “pop-punk”, that label barely applies here. The band is chasing after more of a 5 Seconds of Summer, teeny-alternative pop sound. However, the band is wrapped up in a Warped tour aesthetic that keeps them somewhat on the “punk” rock side of the tracks. Entertainment sounds like the intention is to eventually abandon the punk label altogether and work their way towards blatant pop music, but for now, I guess pop punk will have to do.

The musicians are clearly capable, and the pop-punk influences bleed through within the songs. Fall Out Boy, Dashboard Confessional, and most of the late 90’s Drive-Thru Record's catalogue can be easily identified throughout Entertainment. The acoustic track “Lucky People” definitely speaks to the influence Chris Carrabba has had on the band, both vocally and musically. Although, style wise, the band does sounds most similar to older Fall Out Boy.

Entertainment is a well produced pop album with some pop-punk nuance to it. The strong quality of the lead vocals does help to separate Waterparks from their peers, but the result remains somewhat underwhelming for your average punk rock fan. If you want to check out some shameless pop that is somewhat reminiscent of older Fall Out Boy, Entertainment still might be the record for you.