State Champs – Around the World and Back

If you’ve been paying attention lately, you’ve seen that State Champs have been pretty much ruling the pop-punk scene. After the release of their debut LP The Finer Things in 2013, suddenly all eyes were on the five boys from Albany, NY, and with good reason. They have a sharp, quick, pop-punk sound with honest lyrics led by Derek DiScanio, whose voice was made to sing these songs. Their second full length album was much anticipated, following a year of touring with some of the biggest names in music to this generation. They hit the road this past spring with All Time Low, summer took them to Australia to open for 5 Seconds of Summer, and late July/early August was their time to shine on their first headlining US tour with Hit the Lights. After all that, there was nothing but excitement to see what their second album would bring.

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Around the World and Back is about a range of experiences, from shit talking to keeping a relationship alive, but the common ground is the traditional pop-punk sound behind it all. I immediately noticed the drums shining above the other instruments, which could be because they did that intentionally, or it could just be because I’m always a sucker for a good drum beat. This is the record to put in your car with all the windows down (or up… it is October) and just let it take over. It’s still reminiscent of their previous record, but this one has a bit more of pop thrown in, which adds some variety into the sound.

I listened to this from beginning to end on repeat, and a few tracks stood out every time. First being the title track ‘Around the World and Back,’ which is a beautiful acoustic song featuring Ansley Newman of Jule Vera. Instrumentally, the song is simple, but the lyrics are a little deeper and meaningful, with Ansley’s voice bringing a new dimension that’s never been on a State Champs album before. ‘All You Are Is History’ is another standout. It starts with just vocals, which is honestly what did me in, but I also love a good angry song. This one will be HUGE in their live show; I can already see the pop-punk finger pointing. My other favorites are ‘All or Nothing’ and ‘Shape Up’ but you’re just going to have to listen to the album to find out what they’re like. Speaking of listening to the album, it’s available on iTunes and Spotify, and you can also order a hard copy directly from the band or pick one up at your local Target! You can catch the boys on tour this fall with The Wonder Years and Motion City Soundtrack. Dates here!

Tracklist

  1. Eyes Closed
  2. Secrets
  3. Losing Myself
  4. All You Are Is History
  5. Perfect Score
  6. All or Nothing
  7. Shape Up
  8. Back and Forth
  9. Around the World and Back
  10. Breaking Ground
  11. Tooth and Nail

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Katie
College kid on the east coast with a profound love of all things iced coffee and Taylor Swift. At any given time, you can find me running rampant though big cities at odd hours of the night with my best friends, and that’s just the way I like it. Oh, and I’m always down to discuss boybands.

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