Review: State Champs – Kings of the New Age

On the latest offering of music from Albany, NY’s pop-punk band State Champs hone in on what their band does best, and still leave room for new added elements to their trademark sound. The band was at their most proficient, narrowing down over 30 songs to the 11 found on Kings of the New Age, and we’re left with the tracks they felt best represented this latest chapter of their musical discovery. The set of songs was produced by Drew Fulk (Ice Nine Kills, Lil Wayne) and he does a great job of bringing the band’s authentic songwriting to the forefront of the production. The album contains four songs with outside collaborators, including the single “Everybody But You” featuring Ben Barlow, and each of these guest spots lend themselves well to the overall sound State Champs went for. The band shared this about the album direction, “Lyrically, KOTNA is a reflection on the past few years during a very weird time. However, it is also a reminder that we’re only here for so long. Although we always live and learn by trial and error in areas like friendships, family, careers, relationships, etc., there’s no time for toxicity and negativity when a certain opportunity presents itself. Never waste a moment that can be seized. Times are changing, culture is evolving, and we’re happy to provide the soundtrack and let you know that we’re here to stay. Welcome to the new age.” With their pop-punk flag firmly planted, State Champs may have just provided us with the soundtrack to help remind us of the care free days and the endless possibilities of a summer that could change our lives for the better.

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Review: State Champs – Unplugged

State Champs - Unplugged

The sign of a great band is one that sounds fantastic once all the bells and whistles are stripped away. State Champs has shown off this quality before with The Acoustic Things and they’ve done it again with their new EP, Unplugged. With each of their first three albums, State Champs have emerged as one of the best pop punk bands around today, if not the best. Unplugged proves that they’re not only an excellent pop punk band, but they’re just an excellent band, period. 

The EP consists of four new songs and two reimagined Living Proof tracks. Unplugged kicks off with the beautiful “A Thousand Hearts,” which is this EP’s “If I’m Lucky.” The opener is a sweet love song where singer Derek DiScanio sings about finally finding the person he wants to give his heart to. It’s basically the song version of the saying “you have to crack a few eggs before you make an omelet.” The band delivers on each note throughout the track with a steady drum beat, piano and acoustic guitars. However, it’s Saxl Rose that steals the show with a killer saxophone solo at the 3:04 mark. The instrument fits in well throughout the song and it helps kick the EP off on a high note. (P.S. if you haven’t heard of Saxl Rose before, do yourself a favor and head over to YouTube and check out his pop punk covers. I recommend his covers of A Day To Remember’s “If It Means A Lot to You” and Blink-182’s “Always.”)

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