Despite being part of one of the most saturated genres in alternative music, State Champs have repeatedly shown themselves to be a cut above the rest. And the Albany quintet’s third LP ‘Living Proof’ is a just another reminder of their deservedly high status in the scene as, over 13 bouncy tracks, the band demonstrate why they are so god damn good.
Right from opener ‘Criminal’ the sound is rich and crisp with an electric energy that stays dominant throughout the record.
Elsewhere, anthemic singles ‘Crystal Ball’ and ‘Dead And Gone’ are filled with contagiously catchy choruses that capture the rousing nature of the band’s pin-point song-writing abilities. In fact, there’s hardly a moment where the quality drops, with ‘Lightning’, ‘Frozen’ and ‘Safe Haven’ carrying some of the best sing-along choruses of 2018 thus far. Even the lyricism is both personal and relatable, as frontman Derek DiScanio covers a plethora of topics, from relationships to bullying, love and loss, while his vocal performance is as superb as ever.
The production standard of ‘Living Proof’ was never really in doubt either, with John Feldmann putting his sparkle of bright, crystal clarity on all the tracks, alongside help from the duo of Mike Green and Kyle Black, who also worked on the bands last two records. There’s even a guest vocal spot from blink-182’s Mark Hoppus on one of the album’s more soft-tempered tracks, ‘Time Machine’, which he also co-wrote.
This is surely State Champs best release to date. ‘Living Proof’ takes the best features from the band’s first two full-lengths and moulds them together with an infectious confidence and the professionalism of a band right at the top of their game. In short, get ready to be blasting this record all summer long.
‘Living Proof’ by State Champs is out now Pure Noise Records.
Words by Dylan Tuck (@DylanJTuck)