State Champs - Living Proof
Review by Shannon Shumaker
Since their formation in 2010, State Champs have been gradually reshaping the world of pop-punk, and their new album, Living Proof finds the band emerging bigger and better than ever, and ready to take on the world. Easily the band’s most ambitious release thus far, Living Proof is State Champs at their strongest. Throughout these thirteen songs, the band successfully explores their wide sonic range, from hard-hitting explosive tracks like the opener, “Criminal” and the poppy as hell “Dead and Gone” to the emotional ballad, “Our Time To Go.”
The first two songs on Living Proof provide listeners with an explosive opener, both showcasing the full band’s capabilities. Frontman Derek DiScanio’s passionate vocals definitely carry both “Criminal” and “Frozen” forward, but the entire band pulls their weight as well. The guitar work is complex enough to catch your attention but never feels overbearing, allowing bass to shine and drums to hit you right in the chest. These elements continue to carry the rest of Living Proof forward as well, making for a very dynamic and well balanced listen. While “Something About You” and “The Fix Up” showcase some of DiScanio’s best vocal work, “Crystal Ball” feels like a summer anthem and the piano driven ballad, “Time Machine” finds the band stepping out of their comfort zone.
Living Proof feels like State Champs’ biggest album yet, and each song makes you want to scream along or blast it in the car. It’s the kind of album that needs to be heard live, simply because of its anthemic sound. Even “Our Time To Go,” which is carried by acoustic guitar and emotional vocals feels massive.
Essentially, Living Proof takes the energy that State Champs established early on with The Finer Things and merges it with the refined, larger than life quality of Around the World and Back for a fully realized, dynamic sound. Throughout all thirteen tracks, State Champs never falter. No songs feel like filler - not even the slower ones. Instead, the band hits you with track after hard-hitting track for an exciting listen that comes just in time for summer and the band’s headlining slot on the final Vans Warped Tour. Mark my words, Living Proof is about to become the soundtrack to your summer.
LISTEN TO: "Criminal" or "Something About You"
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