Brooke Cochrane Opinion Editor
State Champs is an American pop punk band based in Albany, New York. They have been around for about eight years, but they recently caught people’s attention with their new album “Living Proof,” which came out June 15, 2018. Their first album titled “The Finer Things” was definitely a just starting out album. All of the songs sounded the same to me and the melodies all blended together. In their second album called “Around the World and Back,” they definitely expanded on their sound, but it did not feel like they had found themselves yet. Now, their newest album, “Living Proof,” is living proof they have. without a doubt, found their sound.
Early March 2018, State Champs posted what looked to be the set for a music video on their Instagram account. On April 11, 2018, the album artwork and track list for “Living Proof” was leaked on various music websites. Later, on April 19, they released the lead single for the album, called “Dead and Gone,” announcing that “Living Proof” would be released in June.
The first song on “Living Proof” is a killer intro song called “Criminal” which tells the story of a loved one tearing them down to the point where they cannot bear it. It has positive beats despite the cold story it tells. The next song is called “Frozen.” This particular song is very unique because it plays with the sentence structure, using a sort of mirror language. The lyrics repeat the same words but in a different order and different meaning. It is very interesting to hear and it plays out well. Up next is the second single State Champs released before the album dropped, “Crystal Ball.” The song starts off calm but when it reaches the chorus, it really inspires me.
The song following that is their first single, “Dead and Gone.” When it came out, I got so excited because it sounded so different from their other songs. It is proof of just how much the band has shown what they are capable of when it comes to music. It was a fantastic track to pick as a first single for “Living Proof.” The song “Lightning” is next and it’s probably the definition of punk rock. The lead singer, Derek DiScanio, proves to us just how great of a vocalist he really is.
There are a lot of great songs on this album, however, the song “Our Time to Go” has the most meaning and is my favorite by far. It is about going after your passion and not being afraid of what could happen. There is no time to waste, go after what you want, life will not wait for you. Although it is hard to follow the advice of such a message, State Champs came through with another great song called “Safe Haven.” It is about searching for their paradise, but then figuring out it is wherever their loved one is. “Something About You” is another great and sentimental track. It is about not being able to live without someone and serves almost like a sequel to “Safe Haven.” Once they found their haven in somebody, they do not want to let them go.
The record takes a bit of a turn with “The Fix Up.” The melody slows down and gives us a break from all of the heavy guitars and drums we did not know we needed. It picks back up, however, with the following song called “Cut Through the Static.” This catchy song is where this fantastic album gets its name. “When you know it’s not so dramatic, let’s cut through the static, and be the living proof.” A great song to name the album after for sure. Up next is “Mine is Gold,” the third single released on May 24, premiered on Billboard’s website before the official release of the album. It is a great song to mix with the other singles and gives the album a great vibe.
Right before the album ends, the song “Time Machine” surprised me with its slow melody. It starts with a soft piano mixed with light drumming. Lyrically and musically, it is a wonderful song. Finishing off the album is “Sidelines,” which is about not wanting to be a bench warmer anymore, getting out there, and not staying on the sidelines.
State Champs definitely wants to get out there and show everyone what they are made of. They achieved just that with this album. “Living Proof” goes to show just how much a band can grow in eight years. Out of their three albums, I found this one to be the best. They plan to tour in 2019.