Living Proof - State Champs

July 12, 2018
By leo-s64 GOLD, Seattle, Washington
leo-s64 GOLD, Seattle, Washington
14 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
You take your car to work, I'll take my board. And when you're out of fuel, I'm still afloat - Rivers Cuomo

            State Champs have quickly become one of the key players in the pop-punk revival happening now. The latest release from the Albany, NY rock band, Living Proof, further secures State Champs’ place as a mainstay in the new pop-punk scene, even if the record is pretty typical pop-punk. But typical pop-punk is by no means a bad thing, far from it, in fact.

            The highlight of this album for me is the passion that Derek DiScanio brings with his voice on every track. An unexpected favorite on the record is “Time Machine.” This song takes a slower approach and is not quite as pop-punk as most of the other tracks. However, this allows DiScanio’s voice to be the focus of this track and the passion and emotion that he brings to this track makes it a standout song on Living Proof. The feature of Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus is great as well.

            The lead single from the album, “Dead and Gone,” is reminiscent of All Time Low and is another one of the best tracks on the album. The chorus is big and catchy and features some excellent guitar work by lead guitarist Tyler Szalkowski. The guitar work on this track in general is great. I really appreciate the use of more mellow picking on the verses, as it offers a nice reprieve from the usual palm-muted power chords that are so prevalent in pop-punk music.

            Unfortunately, while listening to this album I found many of the tracks blending together due to their similarities. This does not mean that the songs are bad, it just means that the album as a whole can get a bit repetitive, despite each song being very good.

            A strong suit of State Champs on this record is great choruses. On many of the tracks on Living Proof, the choruses are infectious and powerful, due in part to DiScanio’s strong vocal performance.

            Living Proof is a marked improvement over 2015’s Around the World and Back, delivering strong choruses and excellent vocal work, despite getting repetitive after a full listen-through. State Champs keep improving with each release, and I am excited for any new music coming from them.

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