State Champs – Living Proof (Album Review)

State Champs – Living Proof
Released: June 15th, 2018

State Champs are:

Derek DiScanio | vocals
Ryan Scott Graham | bass
Evan Ambrosio | drums
Tony Diaz | rhythm guitar
Tyler Szalkowski | lead guitar

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The newest release, Living Proof is the third full length album for the New York natives in State Champs. It feels like it has been far too long since I have heard anything new from the boys even though it has only been a year, which to me is the sign of a quality band when you are constantly missing their music while they’re touring or in the studio. Needless to say, when I received this, I was pretty stoked to hear what they’d been working so hard on and I was not disappointed in the slightest.

 

Upon first listen, I was immediately drawn in and interested. It didn’t sound the same as their previous release, Around The World and Back which I was really intrigued by that fact. So many bands tend to have similar sounding tracks in the sense that they’ll normally be exploring the genre to change things up but without straying too far from their original sound. This album proves that there is growth and change both lyrically and musically over the years, as I found that it is much more upbeat than I had expected and every time I would listen to the songs I found something new I loved about them.

The lyrics in my eyes felt very sincere and not as though they were written from one specific topic or life experience like a break up or more love songs. While there are of course tracks about break ups and love because lets be real, they’re inspiration heaven, no matter how great or shit they are, they’re so beautifully done. The tracks that are being put forward have clearly been curated over time and written through times of pain, happiness and a range of emotional backgrounds. The more I sang along to the tracks once having learned the words, I found that there was a lot of positivity laced throughout.

 

There are some absolute standout tracks on this record that I fell in love with the moment I heard them and I continue to fall more in love with them every time they play and they are ‘Frozen’, ‘Our Time To Go’, ‘Safe Haven’ and ‘Time Machine’. The reasons that these stand out so much is because of the variety of the beat, vocals and instrumentals that are just so outstanding. ‘Frozen’ is a track that I want to dance to on a long road trip with the music turned up loud, ‘Our Time To Go’ is a song that is a semi-slow song with a punk vibe that tackles the topic of mental health in such a positive tone and I have sung this loud and proud many times in the process of writing this review and those are always my favourite kinds — the ones I can sing loud and with passion, imagining I’m at a concert, watching it being played in front of me. ‘Safe Haven’ is an upbeat song that I would say is the closest to reminding me of their past releases, and it is really just showcasing the talent that this band hold. ‘Time Machine’ is a track that is one where you can hear the emotion that the lyrics correspond with. There is beauty in this slower song, having it be quite stripped back in contrast to any other on the album.

All in all, I see this release as a perfect progression from the band, changing things up from their previous albums and putting out something that is incredible to listen to. State Champs are consistently showing fans how much talent they possess and I cannot wait to see these songs come to life on the stage when they tour in the future, which I am hoping is sooner rather than later. I recommend this album to anyone who is a fan of pop punk already, or maybe they’re not, but it doesn’t feel SO alternative that people who never listen to this genre won’t enjoy. It is absolutely perfect for people of any age and any musical interest, and very easy to listen and sing along to.

state champs - living proof album

State Champs – Living Proof tracklisting

1. Criminal
2. Frozen
3. Crystal Ball
4. Dead and Gone
5. Lightning
6. Our Time To Go
7. Safe Haven
8. Something About You
9. The Fix Up
10. Cut Through The Static
11. Mine Is Gold
12. Time Machine
13. Sidelines

Rating: 9/10
Living Proof is out Friday June 15th via Pure Noise Records. Pre-Order here
Review by Heather McNab

 

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