State Champs
Living Proof


3.5
great

Review

by TheWonderSoFar USER (1 Reviews)
June 18th, 2018 | 49 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Living proof that State Champs may struggle to recapture the quality of The Finer Things

When I heard State Champs was putting out a new album, I was beyond stoked. All I had heard of them prior to this release was The Finer Things, and being a massive fan of quality, summery pop punk that invokes imagery of skateboarding and laying on the beach, I loved it. The boys of State Champs are making an appearance at Warped Tour this year, which I’m attending, so I was looking forward to having another entire album of summer-fueled bangers to see them play this summer.

Then, the first single, “Dead and Gone” released. Boy, was I in for a bitter pill to swallow. Filled to the brim with John Feldmann-isms, such as boring, overly sugary sweet production elements, synthetic sounding “oh-whoahh”s, and more, I was massively disappointed and scared for what would come next . After that, I decided not to listen to anything else until the album released, in fear of being completely turned away from the project. I’m glad I did, as “Dead and Gone” actually ended up being one of the lowest points of the album. They ended up delivering a killer album—almost.

Living Proof comes chock full of everything you would expect from the New Yorkers at this point: soaring choruses, fairly tight, summer-tinged instrumentation, and great vocals. A perfect example of these pieces coming together to form an excellent song is the track “Lightning”, which really shines in its chorus with all of the power chords you could expect and the rasp that comes from Derrick’s voice as he belts out, “who knew we were lightning.” Another track of the same ilk is “Safe Haven”. State Champs doesn’t just give us an album of fast paced summer anthems, though. There are actually three slow songs on the album, which succeed to varying degrees.

The one that impresses most is “Our Time to Go”, which starts slowly with a buildup to an explosion of a chorus that really pays off and keeps the listener engaged throughout. Sadly, I can’t say the same for the other two. “The Fix Up” attempts to replicate the success of “Our Time to Go”, and it’s a fine track, but it’s just not as interesting the second time around. Especially considering it’s only two tracks after it’s more successful brother. The third, “Time Machine”, is hardly even worth mentioning, as it simply meanders throughout its three and a half minute run-time, going nowhere and accomplishing nothing of note, other than aggravating the listener and having a painful Mark Hoppus feature.

At the end of the day, this album is hard to rate. This is due to the fact that, while a majority of the album is perfectly serviceable pop punk, it just rarely lives up to the quality presented in their album The Finer Things. If that album hadn’t already been released fives years ago, these songs would honestly impress me more and stick with me better. The simple fact, though, is they can write something better, as they’ve show us.

Don’t let that keep you from listening to this if you’re a fan of the band, as it’s definitely worth a couple spins. Non-fans, however, will find nothing here to change their mind. Luckily, I was already a major fan. I wan initially majorly disappointed when spinning this album, but upon about five listens, most of these songs grew on me much more than I had ever expected. These songs, aside from the highlights and lowlights, are just par for the course State Champs tracks. You’ll either enjoy them enough to listen through them repeatedly or find them bland, depending on your opinion of their work.

Best tracks: Criminal, Lightning, Safe Haven, Something About You

Worst Tracks: Dead and Gone, The Fix Up, Time Machine


user ratings (80)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
chris. (3.5)
Around The World and Back again...

iChuckles (4.5)
"Can we savor every moment, find ourselves along the way?"...



Comments:Add a Comment 
TheWonderSoFar
June 18th 2018


2223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

First review, so feedback is much appreciated, sputbros!! This was just barely a 3.5. About a 3.3. Also, how do I edit reviews? I noticed a couple things that got messed up when I transferred it here

Digging: Captain, We're Sinking - The Future Is Cancelled

Dewinged
June 18th 2018


12080 Comments


There are a few edits here and there but this is a very solid first review man, nicely done. Pos'd!

To edit your reviews, go to "My Profile" and you'll find the option on the left menu.

Digging: Azusa - Heavy Yoke

TheWonderSoFar
June 18th 2018


2223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks so much dewinged! Yeah, I wrote this in about 30 minutes while waiting for a flight, so I missed a couple stupid things. Hoping to edit this in a few hours to fix it up.

Edit: thanks ghost pos!

TheWonderSoFar
June 18th 2018


2223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can’t remember how to get a ? in there, so I just put a period at the end of the lyrics I highlighted from Lightning. I think I have everything fixed up now, but if someone spots something, call me out!

DropTune
June 18th 2018


1242 Comments


You can't use "?" in your reviews. It's been a longstanding glitch. I think it's a fine first review. There's few problems honestly. You could edit out the entire second paragraph if you want. It's not that the paragraph is bad, but it flows better without it. I'll be checking out this album before Warped Tour hits me up in August.

TheWonderSoFar
June 18th 2018


2223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I tried to use that paragraph as I was to set-up the poor expectations I had going in due to the lead single and then they payoff I received after the fact from checking it in full. I also thought it may help allay any fears others had from just hearing that single. I suppose I could just include a sentence or two about that in my third paragraph instead. I’ll take a look when I got a little more free time later. Thanks for the suggestion DropTune!

DropTune
June 18th 2018


1242 Comments


No prob! Like I said, it's not like you have any problems in the review. Try to write a review a day to get the hang of it. That's what I usually do. I've been writing reviews for a year and still am working on structuring and delivery.

TheWonderSoFar
June 18th 2018


2223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Drop, I hardly have the time to listen to an album a week usually, let alone write a review a day haha (except for this past week because I’ve been on vacation, but that’s done with as of today) but I have full intentions of writing as frequently as I can. Just gotta nail down a routine!

tyman128
June 18th 2018


889 Comments


A review a day? That's determination Drop, I barely manage to function daily.

Anyway, this is a solid first review, keep it up man! One thing that could help is putting album titles in italics (place the text between [ I ] and [ /I ] without spaces)

Digging: mol - JORD

TheWonderSoFar
June 18th 2018


2223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks much for the tip tyman! I knew there was a way to do things of that sort, just didn’t know how. Will edit those in later on when I get a chance!

DropTune
June 18th 2018


1242 Comments


I've been trying to get better at writing/reviewing and hope to do so professionally in the future. Not to mention I enjoy it. I usually review an album I listen to frequently (i.e. Linkin Park, etc.) and expand into a newer album should one catch my attention.

tyman128
June 18th 2018


889 Comments


Right on DropTune! I've been reading most of your reviews since you first started and you're making great progress, keep it up! Hope you're able to do this whole writing thing professionally eventually.

TheWonderSoFar
June 18th 2018


2223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know watcha mean Drop. I’ve always wanted to write here since I first joined in like 2013 and just finally now got around to it lol. Now that the ole cherry is popped, they should come quicker.

kbreit
June 18th 2018


1 Comments


Very well written review! I totally agree with you on the synthetic sounding “oh-whoahh”s, they were a tad cringy to me. I’ll definitely have to give this album and band another chance after reading this! Keep writing, I look forward to reading more.

TheWonderSoFar
June 18th 2018


2223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks so much! Cheers!

TheWonderSoFar
June 18th 2018


2223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Man I can’t figure out the italics I tried 3 variations

DropTune
June 19th 2018


1242 Comments


The Italitcs are [ i ] [ /i ] without spaces. You put the [ i ] before the word and [ /i ] after. If you do it correctly, it should read like this.

TheWonderSoFar
June 19th 2018


2223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I’ve tried this as well as this on top of [ i ]this[ /i ] and [ i ] this [ /i ] and none of em worked tfffffff



Edit: okay wtf doing the same thing I did on the comment doesn’t work on the review... odd

Edit: okay it works in the body but not in the summary?

DropTune
June 19th 2018


1242 Comments


No, it does not work in the summary. It's exclusive to the body and comment section.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2018


10402 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

There's a bit of an art to putting personal details in reviews, your "I am's" and "I think's". I usually recommend to avoid that generally when starting out, but once you get basics down and can articulate thoughts you can start injecting your personal experiences with the music. That said, your first paragraph is one I would probably omit entirely or at least avoid in future. The key is that it needs to be relevant. I often take an approach of talking about how an album makes me feel or try to describe the experience of it rather than just describing it, but this paragraph isn't really much of anything in the context of music reviewing. We know it's their new album already, and why do we need to know that you love pop punk in a general sense (try punching in some lines about why it's an important genre to you, in a deeper sense if possible) or that they're on warped tour this year?



The body paragraphs are fine for a first timer. Actually that applies to the review in general. I've certainly seen far worse from newbies. Just make sure to read staff and contributor reviews to get a sense of successful tactics and work on detailing things in sharper, more memorable ways or think about how to get to the essence of an album rather than just surface level things.



And the most integral advice of all? Keep writing.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy