Album Review : STATE CHAMPS – The Acoustic Things (EP)

STATE CHAMPS

« THE ACOUSTIC THINGS »

October 7th, 2014

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We’ve got to admit this year has seen its good share of acoustic EP’s and it made us quite happy based on the quality and hard work each band has put into their « EP projects ». State Champs, too decided to give acoustic a go revealing “The Acoustic Things EP” pretty much a whole year after they dropped “The Finer Things”, first big success of this talented American Pop/Punk band.

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.As you know, State Champs were one of the revelations of late 2013, giving a new breath to pop/punk and making that genre trendy again, well sorta. And 2014 was clearly a good year for the band having their first full-length album hitting the charts and allowing them to go on Warped Tour, headline the PureNoise Tour and travel all over the world.

State Champs has that thing we can’t really describe that gets you all hyped and excited about their music. In other words, we couldn’t wait to jam to new songs but also to see a different part of this band. Although it is never easy for a band to put out acoustic material, the task was even harder for these New-Yorkers who only formed about 3 years ago. Let’s face it acoustic EP’s are a tough task especially for the Pop/Punk genre because yes, Pop/Punk is energetic and has meaningful lyrics but the contrast is sometimes hard to turn into good acoustics. One thing is sure though, State Champs nailed it.

This EP is composed of 5 songs from “The Finer Things” (Elevated, Hard To Please, Deadly Conversation, Simple Existence & Easy Enough) and 2 new ones (If I’m Lucky & Leave You In The Dark). Each version of the songs has its own little spark when played acoustic although it would have been interesting to hear a new version of Remedy. But, we clearly approve the tracklisting as each song on the EP belongs there. Elevated was probably my biggest surprise. As it is a very pop/punk track on the original LP and my personal favourite off their first album, I didn’t know what to expect. The instruments on the song give it another dimension and add something to it, keeping the energy of the song yet underlining the essence of it. Not sure you’ll be able to pick your favourite version after that! Hard To Please is also in the top 3 of the best-executed songs on this EP, maintaining a very Pop/Punk sound and keeping it as good as the original.

All of these acoustic songs not only underline the meaningful lyrics but also highlight Derek Discanio’s voice, and it feels so good to fully hear his voice like this. The best examples are their new tracks. On If I’m lucky the band shows vulnerability, anger and passion all in one song. If I’m Lucky clearly is one of the little treasures on this EP. The other new one Leave You In The Dark is a simply built love song yet so addictive and cute, perfectly shaped for acoustic.
Simple Existence, Deadly Conversation and Easy Enough have their own little utter moments, sounding great as well, beautifully performed but not giving that much of added-value to the original songs. However, this new material shows a personal investment from the band, as every song was kindly chosen in order to keep a particular atmosphere, add a new dimension to it and still translate State Champs sound.

 In a nutshell, State Champs has proven they are a talented, hard working band who made a brilliant EP that will definitely conquer the fans once more. Better prepare yourself for a trainwreck…. “The Acoustic Things” is a good way to embrace the Fall and you would be wrong not to give it a listen. Because who honestly doesn’t like sweet Pop/Punk, loads of guitars and happy thoughts? Well, here at Plug-In we do and this EP will give you a sudden need of going back to your Pop/Punk roots and seeing State Champs live. Words.

8/10

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Words : Roxy G. 

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