Waterparks turn pop-punk on its head with “Double Dare” album

Chris Prenatt, Reporter

In the genre of pop-punk, every band wants to sound like the famous ones, such as Blink-182, Green Day and Fall Out Boy. The genre is oversaturated with groups that are nothing but copycats who are basically ripping off their idols. Honestly, we need a band that will make the genre interesting again. Insert Waterparks, a Houston, Texas trio who got discovered by Benji Madden and Joel Madden of the legendary pop-punk band Good Charlotte. Now managed by the Madden brothers via their music media company MDDN, Waterparks’ main goal is to make pop-punk great again.

Waterparks was able to get some exposure due to the help of a few familiar faces, opening up for Aaron Carter in a show in their home state as well as opening for Good Charlotte’s comeback show in Los Angeles last year. They also played every single date of this year’s Vans Warped Tour on the Cyclops Stage with bands like Ghost Town, Against The Current and Teenage Bottlerocket.

On “Double Dare,” the band’s debut album on Equal Vision Records (Being As An Ocean, Say Anything, Polyphia,) the trio consisting of lead vocalist/guitarist Awsten Knight, vocalist/guitarist Geoff Wigington and drummer Otto Wood, combine multiple genres with their style of pop-punk, infusing indie, electronic and jazz into their songs.

“Double Dare’s” opening track “Hawaii (Stay Awake)” sounds exactly like a pop-punk anthem ripped from the early 2000s. It had the exact amount of pep and charm to hook the pop-punk demographic at Warped Tour. “Made In America,” “Little Violence,” and “It Follows” helped carry on the band’s energy.

What makes Waterparks different from other modern pop-punk bands like Neck Deep or Real Friends is that they switch genres throughout the album’s 13 songs. Throughout “Double Dare,” no song will sound like the other.

“21 Questions” is the generic acoustic pop-punk song that most modern bands have done, while “I’ll Always Be Around” has a strong pop vibe going on. Many bands’ styles can be heard throughout Double Dare such as Cobra Starship’s club-banging synthpop (“Take Her To The Moon,”) Dirty Work-era All Time Low (“Stupid For You,”) and 5 Seconds Of Summer’s mix of pop and punk (“Plum Island”).

Overall, “Double Dare” is one of the most unique pop-punk albums of the decade. With the band going from one genre to the next while still containing their pop-punk roots throughout, it’s no wonder Waterparks are slowly becoming the scene’s next big thing. Give this band a year or two to become as well known as Yellowcard or New Found Glory. Maybe in a decade, this band’s style will help influence other bands. Looks like pop-punk has finally found their rejuvenators.

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