Living Proof by State Champs (Pure Noise Records)
Based out of Albany, New York, State Champs has been making quite a name for themselves all over the States and beyond with their own vibrant brand of pop punk rock entreaties. Living Proof is their third epic of sonic goodness – a thoroughly ambitious effort showing a band at the very height of the creative energies and sure to be the soundtrack of the summer of 2018 and well beyond. All this and with the Vans Warped Tour about to commence, State Champs is primed and ready to rock your world with this fantastic new magnum opus.
“So what’s it mean when every dream I have is about you now?” vocalist Derek DiScanio muses at the beginning on the driving Criminal, kicking off the Living Proof experience on a stunningly reflective note. Frozen then thaws out your senses with its dazzling grooves and “maybe I messed up a little, or maybe I’m just a little messed up” sentiments striking into the heart of the matter. A gaze into the Crystal Ball is up next, with its free-wheeling soundscapes and pensive lyrics meshing together for a downright effective song! Dead And Gone is a slamming cut that audiences will surely sing along to in a live setting, with it’s restless “I want to get some f*cking sleep again” chorus reverberating throughout. Lightning strikes with a swirling amount of conviction followed by the sweetness and urgency contained within Our Time To Go.
Safe Haven envelopes the moment with its glorious rock and rage refrains. Something About You is another pulsating pop punk classic in the making followed by the sobering relationship contemplations of The Fix Up. Cut Through The Static and Mine Is Gold show that State Champs can rock it out like no other complete with profound lyrical content straight from the soul. Time Machine is a brilliantly poignant highlight, demonstrating just who wondrously effective State Champs is with a pop punk ballad. And then closing out Living Proof on a sparkling note is Sidelines, a grand finale destined to leave an indelible impression with its “tell me what we’re waiting for, are we holding out for something more” awareness.
The States Champs lineup is an absolute prize winning combination, featuring the participation of the Derek DiScanio on vocals, Tyler Szalkowski on guitar, Tony “Rival” Diaz on guitar, Ryan Scott Graham on bass, and Evan Ambrosio on drums. Production credits are superlative, the first session with John Feldmann at the helm, who impressive credits include Good Charlotte and Blink 182 – and the second part of the recording brought to you courtesy of Mike Green and Kyle Black, the duo that sent Around The World And Back across the finish line. On a few of the songs. State Champs collaborated with some of pop-punk’s heaviest hitters, co-writing with Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low and Mark Hoppus from Blink-182. On Living Proof, State Champs has unleashed their most fully realized album to date – containing an array of highly memorable songs destined to launch the band into even greater glories ahead. Be sure to catch them throughout the summer on the final cross country edition of the Vans Warped Tour!
(Review by Ken Morton)
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