The power of ‘fandom’

Waterparks’ new album goes above and beyond


Waterpark’s third album, “FANDOM” released on Oct. 11. All 15 tracks on the album express various emotions such as anger when a fanbase does not appreciate what the musicians are putting out and resentment after an unsuccessful relationship.

Pop-punk band Waterparks recently put out their third full-length studio album, “FANDOM.” The album includes 15 songs centering on the idea of having to be the poster child in the eye of public media and struggling to keep personal relationships intact.

Lead singer Awsten Knight seems to emphasize what it is like when bands you idolized as a child suddenly only interact with you when they need something. ”

— Staff Writer Rachel Laposka

I have been a fan of Waterparks for about three years now, and I have seen them live twice. In doing so, I gained a new-found respect for the band and the message their songs send out.

They write songs about things many people do not talk about in the music industry. Lead singer Awsten Knight seems to emphasize what it is like when bands you idolized as a child suddenly only interact with you when they need something. 

“FANDOM” really adds to the theme of not being enough for society in the eyes of the media, especially with tracks revolving around the band’s fanbase and the toxicity that comes with it, hence the album name. To retaliate that, the band took on the branding of “God’s Favorite Boy Band,” which is mentioned in their song “War Crimes.”

This album took me a few listens before I could actually really enjoy and understand where Knight was coming from. He is writing about the struggles musicians face in not only the industry but also the backlash they receive from fans whenever the band puts something out that may not meet their standards.

There are three songs on “FANDOM” that really stood out to me — “Watch What Happens Next,” “War Crimes,” and “I Felt Younger When We Met.” 

“Watch What Happens Next” is the second song on the album and the second single, released on Aug. 12, two months before the initial album release. This song expresses the anger the band feels when fans are constantly criticizing everything they do.

This song stands out to me due to the strong emotions delivered through the lyrics and angsty guitar riffs. Specifically, the line “You wanna hear my art, but only on your terms” really hits like a punch in the gut. It shows how the fandom can control the band’s success. 

If people do not like a song or album, they will chastise the band for not releasing what they want to hear. “Watch What Happens Next” is the band’s response to the hateful comments their fandom may give them.

“War Crimes” is my favorite song on this album hands down. Call me biased because I’m a sucker for a funky bassline, but this song is all-around a cleverly-written song. 

It is just Knight’s vocals with a hazy effect layered over that gives me almost an electronic vibe.”

— Staff Writer Rachel Laposka

This song goes through so many different emotions. It starts off with a soothing keyboard progression, then leads right into the praised bassline, and drops off with the pre-chorus with stripped vocals and harmonies that blend together so beautifully, but that is short-lived and it picks up again with the deep bassline and harsh drums.

Lyrically, this song expresses concerns with the band’s overall sound becoming repetitive. Along with concerns of stationary sound, the lyrics also convey the anger that comes with other bands that do not want this band to do well.

“I Felt Younger When We Met” stood out to me because of the vocal editing in the first twenty seconds of the song. It is just Knight’s vocals with a hazy effect layered over that gives me almost an electronic vibe.

A common theme in “FANDOM” aside from anger towards the music industry and the fanbase is the resentment towards a person after ending a relationship, much like the lyrics explain in “I Felt Younger When We Met.” They demonstrate the emotions a person may feel after ending a relationship with somebody that you loved dearly.

Like the relationships mentioned, this song ends abruptly and fades out in the last forty seconds that includes a ticking clock and the instrumentals of the first song on the album, “Cherry Red,” causing the album to have a perfect loop effect. 

“FANDOM” is an album that will definitely stick with me. With it being heavy in the various emotions included, it will continue to be my favorite album Waterparks has released.