On Fri, Oct. 16, pop-punk band State Champs released their second full-length album “Around the World and Back.”Their first full length album, “The Finer Things,” was released back in summer 2013. Prior to that, the band had a series of Extended-Plays (EPs).
There were some high expectations going into this album. “The Finer Things” was literally pop-punk perfection this generation of music was longing for and finally got. It is comparable to the early 2000’s Blink-182 and Sum 41. It gives that vibe of nostalgia to those days that, for some reason, other bands have struggled to hit, or if they have, only somewhat. So to say there were high expectations for this new album is an understatement.
While “Around the World and Back” does not quite measure up to their first album, it definitely comes close. The main reason it does not is because the band went more rock-vibe music on this album as opposed to staying solely pop-punk like they managed to do with the first. That being said, bands evolve and learn from their experiences. It would have been odd if a new sound was not heard, seeing as every other band or artist does the same thing. Even though it changes vibes, the songs are still great and remind the listener that this band deserves to be making music.
The songs “Breaking Ground” and “All or Nothing” are ones that add that rock vibe and, in all honesty, compares to another band called Real Friends. The two bands are acquainted so perhaps they influenced the new State Champs songs. Technically speaking, Real Friends does consider themselves within the same genre but, upon listening to them, they definitely have more of a rock vibe to their music. Ergo, another band that has missed the mark within the pop-punk genre.
The pop-punk vibes are brought back with the band’s singles with the songs “Secrets,” “Losing Myself,” and “All You Are is History,” as well as other tracks on the album such as “Back and Forth,” “Shape Up,” and “Eyes Closed.” The band makes sure to feature a mellow song on the album to give the listener the break to any rocking out they may be doing, and that song is the title track “Around the World and Back” feat. Ansley Newman. Her voice along with State Champs’s singer Derek DiScanio perfectly blend together in harmony on the track, making even the utmost hater of slow songs take a step back and rethink their life decisions.
For their second full-length the band did an excellent job, especially with the possible pressure of making it as good as their first. State Champs is the one to look out for. If true pop-punk music ever comes back onto radio stations, they will definitely be the ones behind the music.