Usually with debut albums there is some hype around the band before it is released, such as with Neck Deep (see our review here), but State Champs seemed to come out of nowhere. Opening this album with one of the best pop-punk songs of 2013 in the form of ‘Elevated’ a very high standard is set. Blending the vocal hooks in the style of The Story So Far, with choruses that New Found Glory would be proud of, it sounds incredible. With the slow acoustic build up in ‘Deadly Conversation’, when the full band kick in it is really something to behold, with instantly recognizable riffs combined with the double whammy of catchy lyrics.
The band is very consistent on this album, with song after song of Pop Punk. ‘Hard To Please’ and ‘Prepared To Be Noticed’ follow this formula. The album really caters to the niche crowd of Pop Punk fans, and while that scene is bigger now than it has been in recent years, State Champs aren’t reinventing the wheel here. “Remedy” offers a sort of change of pace on the album with a gradual build up of vocals and guitars before introducing drums and bass, however by this stage of the album, most of the songs are blurring into a haze. The final track on the album “Easy Enough” is the first real variation from the majority of sound on the rest of the album. It is a slower paced song and just really stands out as an album closer, particularly as the tail end of the album blends into one. The introduction of the gang vocals, and the lyrics that really resonate with the listener, such as “I just want to be more than a memory”, helps the album end with a bang. Overall this album arguably the best pop-punk debut album of 2013, it shows a band brimming with potential and future releases are going to be met with a high level of anticipation.