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Pop-rock band Waterparks smashes records with newest release ‘Intellectual Property’

Pop-rock band Waterparks smashes records with newest release ‘Intellectual Property’

Pop-rock band Waterparks smashes records with newest release ‘Intellectual Property’
April 28
14:00 2023

Just two years after their last release, Waterparks is back with their fifth studio album. Pushing the boundaries of pop-rock is nothing new to the band – and that’s exactly what they’ve done on their latest project, “Intellectual Property.”

The album seems to combine all the styles of their previous projects. From their earlier emo-punk days to their more recent alt-rock style in “Fandom,” there is something for everyone on the tracklist.

Waterparks doesn’t stop at just musical exploration. The band uses this album to dive into deep topics like religious guilt, modern love and celebrity culture. 

The opening track, “ST*RF—ER,” is almost like an album preview. It is the shortest song on the list, lasting a little under two minutes. However, it still manages to touch on all of the aforementioned themes. 

Lead vocalist Awsten Knight sings about dating as a celebrity over a fast-paced, upbeat track — almost like something out of a video game. The song is a great opener, as it doesn’t stray too far from Waterparks’ usual sound. It even contains hints of their past albums, “Greatest Hits” and “Entertainment.”

Another reason the song is such a great opener is because the outro perfectly transitions to the next track, “REAL SUPER DARK.” The song was released months before the album when the band debuted it while opening for My Chemical Romance during their 2022 tour. 

It is one of the heavier tracks, both musically and lyrically. The song harkens back to the band’s earlier emo-punk days. Knight takes more of a rapping and growling vocal approach as lead guitarist Geoff Wigington and drummer Otto Wood lay into their own instruments. 

The lyrics contrast sharply with Knight’s animated demeanor on this track. Knight continues to build on the previous track, lamenting about the woes of being a celebrity in an off-hand manner. All in all, the song is a standout track and is well deserving of its single status. 

“FUNERAL GREY” falls next on the tracklist, and is the album’s lead single. There isn’t much to discuss with this song, as it has been out for almost a year. It’s also pretty typical of what you’d expect from the band, fitting in with their pop-rock style from “Double Dare.”

However, being predictable doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad. The song adds a sort of lightness that picks listeners up after the previous track. 

Lyrically, “SELF-SABOTAGE” has to be an all-time favorite from the album. Like the title suggests, the song is about making a relationship as difficult as possible even if you don’t want the relationship to end — a form of self-sabotage. 

Even while the song gets rather dark, the melody stays bright and upbeat. It’s something that a listener can bop their head to if they aren’t paying too close attention to the actual words. 

As for songs in their entirety, “RITUAL” takes the cake. The song drifts further into the rock genre as it dives headfirst into religious trauma over a heavy instrumental track. This song would be a first pick for any old Pierce the Veil fans, as it rings heavy with “Floral and Fading” influence. 

Waterparks give fans another surprise with their first-ever album feature. The album’s ninth track, “F**K ABOUT IT,” features rapper blackbear. Unsurprisingly, the rap artist fits right in on this track, their separate styles blend incredibly well together and produce a beautiful fusion of pop-punk and pop-rap. 

“CLOSER” is the slowest track of the album, featuring a soft acoustic for most of the song. Even the drums come in gently, almost unobtrusive before starting up in earnest during the second verse. Overall, it has a rather boyband feel but is still a great song perfectly positioned at the tail-end of the album. 

The final and longest track of the album, “NIGHT OUT ON EARTH,” is a great closer and a perfect summary of the album as a whole. It experiments with several vocal and musical styles throughout the track, much like the album itself. The overlaying melody is very reminiscent of one of their more popular songs, “Turbulent,” while the track slides more into the rap genre. 

For all of its highs, the album does also feature several lows. The middle of the album features three rather forgettable, pop-esque songs.  “BRAINWASHED,” “2 BEST FRIENDS” and “END OF THE WATER (FEEL)” all sort of blend into each other as Knight sings about different aspects of love and relationships. 

However, the album as a whole is a big success for Waterparks. It proves that the band is not just a one-trick pony as they continue to push the bounds of fans’ expectations.

Xander’s rating: 3/5

Featured Illustration by Erika Sevilla

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Xander Weems

Xander Weems

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