Albany based pop-punk band State Champs quickly cemented themselves as frontrunners in the pop-punk genre with the release of their debut ‘The Finer Things’, and then continued to solidify this with 2014’s follow-up, ‘Around The World And Back’.
Back now with their third release, ‘Living Proof’, State Champs continue to mature and push boundaries, wearing the pop-punk genre proudly on their sleeves.
Opening with ‘Criminal’, the pop-punk vibe hits from the get go. Perhaps one of the catchier tracks of the album, it highlights lead singer Derek Disciano‘s impressive vocals and ability to create lyrics that will be stuck inside your head instantly. ‘Frozen’, ‘Dead And Gone’, and ‘Safe Heaven’ are similar, all with incredibly catchy choruses.
It’s clear that State Champs have matured greatly since ‘Around The World And Back’. Lyrically the songs are deeper, and they’ve experimented with different producers to create new and exciting sounds. ‘The Fix Up’ and ‘Our Time To Go’ are perfect examples of maintaining the pop-punk sound at its core, but using hard-hitting lyrics and a slower pace to challenge expectations. ‘Time Machine’ pushes all of the boundaries with heartbreaking lyrics, and even a feature from Mark Hoppus of Blink-182. It’s a sure stand out on the album that will undoubtedly become a fan favourite, sharing similar traits to older emotional track, ‘If I’m Lucky’.
‘Lightening’ allows each member to show off their talent, and lyrics that are massively open to interpretation. Most tracks include lyrics that can be about break-ups, falling in love and general self well-being. With so much room for interpretations, every single one of the tracks on this record could be played live, with the audience belting each lyric back at the band. Moshing or waving hands side to side, this album was made to be performed live.
‘Living Proof’ shows off State Champs‘ versatility and sheer talent. Full of catchy melodies and lyrics, the album really shows off the band’s growth and maturity over the past few years. With so many potential singles, State Champs have accomplished a masterful pop-punk album that relishes in every aspect of the genre.