By the time most bands hit their fourth full-length album, they’ve also hit a fork in the road: either keep doing what works for them, or shift gears and try something new. State Champs, however, aren’t most bands. Rather than opting for a more mature sound or writing the same eleven songs over and over, the New York quartet have found the perfect balance between fresh new sounds and the same high energy sing-along anthems that they have become known for on their new album, Kings Of The New Age.
Although there isn’t necessarily an overarching theme on Kings Of The New Age, many songs do find the band doing some soul searching. Tracks like “Eventually” touch on facing your demons head on and working on your mental health, while “Everybody But You” finds vocalist Derek DiScanio moving on from a toxic relationship. Meanwhile, “Outta My Head” picks things up emotionally, expanding on the feeling you get when you can’t get someone out of your head.
It’s not just the lyrical content that makes Kinds Of The New Age a success, though. Sonically, the album finds the band at their strongest yet. State Champs are perfectly comfortable with their energetic signature sound with songs like “Just Sound” and “Act Like That”, but the shining moments on the album are when the band explores new sounds, like on the anthemic “Fake It” or the massive, arena-ready “Half Empty” which not only shakes things up a bit, but also includes one of DiScanio’s best vocal performances on the album alongside Chrissy Costanza’s stunning voice.
Simply put, State Champs are just damn good at what they do. They have mastered the art of creating catchy as hell, easily relatable pop punk bangers, but in a way that, even four albums in, still feels entirely genuine. As the band has grown up, they’ve certainly matured, but not in a way that gives fans whiplash. Instead, they have grown in a way that feels natural, with each album feeling like a perfect progression from the last. It’s no surprise that Kings Of The New Age is a hit.
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