State Champs affirm their place as one of the genre’s brightest lights.
Label: Pure Noise Records
Released: 16th October 2015
In an age that sees genre toppling from its position as the most discussed aspect of any musical venture, 2015 has still seen pop punk come back in a big way.
State Champs’ ‘Around The World And Back’ features all the cornerstones of what is brilliant about pop punk: nearly every single song has an absolutely raging chorus. Anyone would be hard pushed to deny the legitimacy of the sing along moments that State Champs have delivered.
As you should all know by now, ‘Secrets’ is undeniably one of the anthems of the year and is backed up stomping opener ‘Closed Eyes’, the fantastically bright ‘All You Are Is History’ and the bounce of ‘Perfect Score’. The unashamedly pop vocals of Derek DiScanio give voice to a hugely optimistic and uplifting set of lyrics, underpinned by fast-paced, forceful instrumentation.
‘All Or Nothing’ appears as a stopgap in the centre of the album, slowing down the pace without ditching the quality. However, there does appear the token pop punk album acoustic track in the form of title track ‘Around The World And Back’. It quickly pushes the sound of State Champs towards the sugarcoated, bubble-gum end of the generic spectrum and doesn’t do justice to the rest of the album. Unfortunately the few tracks from that moment begin to lose their bite, although they do pick up the pace. However, this small blip doesn’t take away from the strength of this album as a whole.
State Champs had a chance to make their mark on a very special year in pop punk and they have absolutely taken it with this album, affirming their place as one of the genre’s brightest lights. Jack Glasscock