Best of 2016 Playlist

January 29, 2016

Featured Band - State Champs

Pure Noise Records has a slew of great pop punk bands. Perhaps the cream of the crop are rising stars State Champs. Their sophomore record, "Around the World and Back" was released in October of 2015. And since then, they've had nothing but success. Prior they had stints on tours with 5 Seconds of Summer, and on Warped. Currently they're doing a world tour with fellow pop punk newcomers Neck Deep (whose sophomore album was also a huge success). Poised for world domination, with a growing fanbase, we're happy to have these guys as our first "Featured Band" of 2016. 

Remember to catch State Champs on their co-headlining tour with Neck Deep this February/March. Click the following (link) to get dates and locations. 

To read our review of "Around the World and Back" click this (link). And to buy the album on iTunes click this (link). 

After many years of hard work, small venues, and 2 self-released EPs, State Champs were signed to Pure Noise in 2012. They released a 3 track EPs, which featured two tracks that would later appear in their debut ("Critical" and "Remedy"). Their sound has developed quite nicely since that time. In the beginning it was rough 00s pop punk, like American Hi-Fi or New Found Glory. Since their inception, the band has grown into a well rounded group of musicians. There's still room for improvement, but this is just the beginning of their career. Which is sure to be a long one. 

Pop punk, at its core, is meant to be light and fun. Which State Champs have mastered, and perfected. Along with Neck Deep, Knuckle Puck, Man Overboard, and others, they've ushered in a new decade of pop punk. They keep the 00s traditions alive, but use some modern bits to keep their music interesting. "Losing Myself" and "All or Nothing" are two of SC's more alt. rock songs. The band typically writes songs in either Drop C# or Drop D, which also contributes to the slightly heavier edge to their music. 

Their most recent album, "Around the World and Back" is a combination of both old and new. The band's choruses are fueled by modern pop punk, (think more recent ADTR and All Time Low songs) while the verses hold to the more "classic" pop punk (blink-182, NFG, and Sum 41). There's something for everyone. The band hasn't tackled any serious material, but seeing as they've only put out two full lengths and a handful of EPs, we would be surprised if they did. 

Overall, there's a distinct difference between their debut and sophomore records. Their debut sticks to the basics of the genre. Lots of power chord riffs, fast drums and bass beats, and "light" lyrical content. "Elevated", "Deadly Conversation" and "Nothing's Wrong" are highlights. "Nothing's Wrong" in particular since it blends quick chord progressions with a bright and cheery lead guitar melody. The track could have been ripped straight from All Time Low's "So Wrong, It's Right" or "Nothing Personal". 

For all you fans of the 2007-2010 era All Time Low, ADTR, NFG, and Neck Deep we highly recommend you check out this band. You're missing out on some awesome songs. Aside from those mentioned before, we put forth "Eyes Closed" and "Breaking Ground" as album highlights from their 2nd record. From their debut, "Critical", "Hard to Please", and "Easy Enough".