Yes, here it is friends! New music from rising pop punk stars, State Champs, is finally here! The long awaited album Around the World and Back has dropped and boy is it goooooood.

I fell in love with this band back in 2012 after listening to their EP Overslept and in the following years that love has only grown stronger. Their first full length album, The Finer Things, really showed off the bands energy and attitude with fast paced songs and powerful vocals, which we really haven’t seen from the newer generations of pop punk. Though it was a great album I had the feeling that there wasn’t really a standout song from the band, one that would be recognizable by the masses (like Blink-182 has with “All the Small Things” or New Found Glory has with “My Friends Over You“.)

The first noticeable thing about Around the World and Back is that they definitely have a track that is of that type of caliber. The first single, “Secrets“, is incredibly catchy and has the high energy we’d expect from State Champs as well as having a message that pop punkers can really get behind (and shout along to.)

However, there are a few songs within ATWAB that sort of pull back from what I love about State Champs. Songs like “Losing Myself” and “All You Are Is History” are at a (relatively) softer level and add more harmonies that almost seem to drown out lead singer Derek DiScanio’s gruff voice. While this doesn’t happen all the time there are a few times throughout the album that I want more gruffness and a little less polished vocals.

One of my favorite things about State Champs is their guitars. They have done an amazing job of utilizing a harsher lead guitar with catchy rhythm melodies, though these melodies are more reminiscent of SoCal punk, like MxPx and Slick Shoes, than the pop punk melodies of All Time Low and Fall Out Boy.


The State Champs (get it?)

Of course I have to talk about the slow track in the album. I’ve probably stated this before, but most pop punk albums will have a slow song in the album and while The Finer Things did not, Around the World and Back does. It is the title track of the album and is the only song that is done entirely acoustic as well as being the only track that features another artist (Ansley Newman of Jule Vera.) It’s a very pretty track though at times it sounds a bit more country than punk. I know that it’s gotten a lot of love as a single but to be honest it’s really not my favorite thing. Though I’m not crazy about acoustic anything really, so take that as you will.

As far as sophomore albums this one is pretty dang good. While I did enjoy The Finer Things a little bit more, I’m not at all disappointed in Around the World and Back. This album has a little more of a pop sound (and I do mean a little, more like a scoach really) than the previous album but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you are a State Champs fan then this album is a must. If you like pop punk or are just looking for some new music to jam to (in which I mean like a good hard jam) then this album, and band, are definitely worth having a listen.

Around the World and Back can be purchased on the bands website, iTunes and at your local retailers.


State Champs

Around the World and Back

Pure Noise Records

16 October, 2015

Overall Score
93 %

A pretty solid sophomore album. State Champs only adds to their great sound though it is slightly different from their early stuff, this band is pushing forward without a sign of stopping any time soon.

Music 90%
Lyrics 98%
Vocals 92%

About The Author

René Rodriguez is a writer and reviewer for this lovely site. He tries to do reviews as frequently as possible but if there's something that piques his interest and he also thinks you should read it...well he'll probably review it. Mostly music and Spider-Man though.

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