Waterparks – ‘Intellectual Property’ album review

Bu Izzy Hayden

Very minimal music and simply Awsten’s edgy voice kick start the album with ‘Starfucker’, before it picks up the speed and bouncy guitar and drums continue the song. Waterparks’ fifth album is certainly different to their past music and has a much angrier and more intense vibe to it.

Very quickly the energy changes when the second track – ‘Real Super Dark’ opens with frustrated, almost screamy vocals. The music itself sounds almost automated with strange noises throughout, joined by a steady drum beat.  The majority of this track is not one the album’s best as it’s quite generic and didn’t really grasp the attention. This is, however, until it gets to the bridge: “It gets real super dark around the edge of my heart” is belted with meaning and you can really hear the passion behind what Awsten is saying.

‘Brainwashed’ and ‘Fuck About It’ are two great tracks. Chilled guitar and a very soft drum beat make ‘Brainwashed’ a very easy listen. In this track Awsten sings naturally, rather than straining his voice like he seems to do on many tracks, which makes it a more pleasant listen. The lyrics depict the feeling of starting to catch feelings for someone and how much it can mess with your head. Something almost anyone can relate to. On the other hand, ‘Fuck About It’ is in every way the opposite. A fierce song about relationship problems. Again I can appreciate Awsten’s natural vocals here and the hot-blooded song obviously holds high emotion.

Although this album has potential I would rank it lowest out of the five Waterparks have released. In many of the songs, Awsten’s voice is pushed to the point where he simply sounded screechy, like he’s forcing out the high pitch notes. I get the vibe that they are trying hard to make an album which sounds different to their past ones but this is ‘so much so’ that they have moved away from what made them popular and what worked for them as a band.

Even more so than the vocals, most of the music felt bland. The drumming was very basic beats that continued through whole songs and there was nothing intriguing or captivating about the guitar.

Despite this, I can see how people would enjoy this album if they like classic alternative music or if they have some rage they want to let go of.

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