New York-based band State Champs have been making their mark in the world of new-wave pop punk since 2010. With 3 full length albums and 3 EPs, their popularity and dedicated fan base has secured them stage time at well-known festivals including Slam Dunk and Warped Tour. The five boys have also supported the likes of Blink-182, All Time Low and many others. Living Proof is their most recent album release, making its debut in June 2018 and offers 13 songs with a similar sound to their earlier music, yet with a fresh take in attitude.
Artist: State Champs
Album: Living Proof
Release Date: 15/06/2018
Genre: Pop Punk
Similar Artists: Neck Deep, As It Is, The Story So Far
Recommended Tracks: Dead and Gone, Mine is Gold
Track one of the album, Criminal, contains a lyrical theme of love and infatuation, packed with metaphors and innuendos. Featuring a catchy drum beat and strong guitar chords, Derek utilises this to show off his impressive vocal range, exploring the limits of his pitch. Resembling past songs, State Champs have stuck to their roots with the same distinguishable sound which has proved successful. This also applies to track nine, The Fix Up, yet this is noticeably slower and far less upbeat than expected. However, not all of the album sticks to this...
Dead and Gone is the fourth song, with audio and lyrics which I personally feel are alike to All Time Low's Future Hearts. As one of the most memorable tracks, the repetitive yet appealing chorus is sure to leave you singing along, and is easily identifiable as one to quickly become a live favourite. Co-written with Mark Hoppus from Blink 182, the song was inspired by Derek's relationship downfall with his ex-girlfriend. The next track, Lightening, also appears to have similarities to other new wave pop punk bands, particularly As It Is. Unlike the majority of their songs, this beat is heavily focused on guitars, picking up towards the end with drums and bass.
Mine is Gold is the eleventh song on the album, standing out amongst the rest. With a unique, melodic chorus paired in harmony to a heavy drum beat, it's everything you could want or expect from a great pop punk track. Co-written with All Time Low's vocalist Alex Gaskarth, it's easy to understand the similarities between Living Proof and ATL music. Track seven Safe Haven is also alike with this sound, high pitched guitars and a catchy drum beat.
The final track worth highlighting is Sidelines, as the last track on the album. Surprisingly, the bridge takes an alternative approach to most songs in this genre, with a strikingly slower tempo. Unfortunately, despite the smooth creation of each song, there does not seem to be enough differentiation between tracks and the inspiration behind the lyrics is lacking with a very cliché, predictable theme throughout. For fans of new wave pop punk, Living Proof is worth checking out, but don't expect a lot of originality.
Don't forget to get the album here or check it out over on Spotify.
What do you think of Living Proof? Which albums would you like reviewed next?
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