Review by Mark Ventrice
RIYL: The Wonder Years, Anything acoustic from A Day To Remember
Recommended Tracks: “Leave You In The Dark”, “If I’m Lucky”, “Elevated”
State Champs are a very middle of the road, hook-based pop punk band. One thing they do have that even more generic bands don’t is musical energy and it showed on their previous studio album The Finer Things. However, with this EP they found their niche: acoustic. The power behind the vocals from Derek Discanio are conveyed better with the soft sounds of an acoustic guitar and a tambourine than they do with a full band behind him. The first five tracks on this EP are just acoustic versions of songs off The Finer Things including “Elevated” and “Hard To Please” which were two of the best songs off that album. All you need to know about the first five tracks are that they are of equal or better quality than the originals. The last two tracks however, “Leave You In The Dark” and “If I’m Lucky” are the only original songs on this EP.
Of the two, “If I’m Lucky” is the more notable track. The acoustic guitar matches up with his voice perfectly here and the inclusion of a tambourine for the hooks really bring his voice. Discanio’s vocals are precise and sharp at points and upbeat and fast at other points. Basically, he is able to control his vocals in this song making it a very enjoyable listen.
There is one big disclaimer that goes along with this album and it’s if you don’t like pop punk music in general then you probably won’t like this. The first five tracks especially because they are just acoustic versions of older songs but even the last two tracks still have that pop punk sound to them. But if you do like pop punk then you will likely love this album.