State Champs ReviewDate: May 15, 2022
Kings of the New Age by State Champs Review
Written by Valentino Petrarca
As someone who has been a pop-punk fan for years of my life, I’ve seen the genre go through highs and lows. In recent years, pop-punk has seen a strong resurgence with the likes of Neck Deep, The Wonder Years, and of course, State Champs. They have taken a genre fading away and brought new life into it, time and time again. Kings of the New Age is no exception. After all the agony we’ve been through in 2020 and 2021, State Champs are back and making music fun again. This album is refreshingly lighthearted with everything fans have come to expect from the band. If you’ve been following State Champs for a decade, or this is your first-time hearing of them, this album is definitely worth checking out.
Another aspect to discuss is the record’s features. This album has 4 features on an 11-track album. Typically, I’m always nervous when I see something like this. Most artists use features as a crutch to override poor songwriting. Sometimes bands force a feature to give an album more hype or credibility. This is not the case with State Champs. I am genuinely shocked with how well these features are and how they enhance the album. Nothing is shoehorned in and every artist gets their chance to shine. I feel as if every guest feature adds their own personal flair to the song while maintaining the overarching sound of the album. The first time I heard Half Empty featuring Chrissy from Against The Current, I was floored. It was so unique and special but also fit perfectly in the track list. The Four Years Strong feature is also jaw dropping. Every newcomer in the scene should listen to this album to see how it’s done.
The only area in which this record is lacking is in the lyric department. It is not uncommon in the pop-punk community to have shallow or subpar lyrics. However, I feel that the band had much strong messages and themes on their previous two records, Living Proof and Around The World and Back. A lot of the lyrics feel very generic and simple. The music itself is so good, that any lyrical shortcomings are easily forgiven. The music is consistently infectious and enjoyable that unless you’re reading along with the words, an average fan won’t notice or care.
Overall, State Champs dropped one of the best records of their career, and of the year. Kings of the New Age has all the fun pop-punk a fan would want with new twists and turns. The features are stellar, the pacing is perfect, and the entire album experience is memorable. The only downside to this record is that fans have to wait until Summer to hear these songs live.
Check out my interview with State Champs here
Posted in: Album Review, WSOU, WSOU Exclusive