Every now and then I begin to feel like pop punk is truly dying, only to be reminded by some random band that it’s not. And that band this time is State Champs. A four piece pop punk band from New York. This past year they released their new four track EP “Overslept” from Pure Noise Records and plan to release a full length album later this year. And needless to say…these boys bring the attitude, the sound, and the emotion that is pop-punk rock.

The EP opens with a very short and simple intro. But even though it’s short, it makes a statement. Guitar, drums, and then kicks in the bass. It’s quick but it’s the guitars have guts and the drums have a nice oomph that just screams attitude. The final chord at the end of the song leads perfectly into the first track. So perfect that it took me several listens to actually realize they were two different songs. Plus the intro has a hilarious name (Tonsil Hockey.)

The first track “Critical” has great energy with the drums and the guitar has a steady rhythm and a fun breakdown. And the vocals are harsh but have a super dose of high-octane energy that makes it feel like you’re at a rock concert. The emotion and breakdowns, that’s right there’s more than one, throughout the song could make anyone feel like they’re back in high school.

“We Are the Brave” is the next track on the EP and opens up with a simple guitar opening that is nice and has a good bounce to it and while it doesn’t rock as hard the first track, it has a good groovy pop rock feel, with a strong bridge and a good lead into the extended verse before kicking into a bouncy pop styled chorus. The song also has a breakdown that begs for the audience to join in, which again makes this EP feel like a live performance.

Lastly, my absolute favorite song on the EP is “Remedy.” This song starts off with the vocals and one guitar adding the drums shortly after  in a kick that roars the song into a rhythmic intro before lacing the lead guitar over it and finally entering the first verse. The drums keep a fast pace which gives this song even more energy than the intro or “Critical” did. If there’s one thing that State Champs does incredibly well, it’s their breakdowns. After the second verse of “Remedy” the drum carries on with its hot and heavy pace, the lead guitar serenading us smoothly, and the pure emotion of the vocals leading us into a steady build up. This then kicks into a powerful bridge before leading us into the final chorus. Besides the music, the lyrics in “Remedy” are absolutely brilliant and give off the ever-present angst of teenage rebellion and relationships that will forever live on in pop-punk.

Each song on this EP does so many things right. The guitars are fast but still have a hint of alternative sound that puts them closer to punk than pop-punk. While the melodies of the songs follow a more typical pop feel, with skips and steady rhythm, the overall power of the rhythm guitar creates a very good rock feel. The drums only add to the power and speed of the songs, the snare clearly comes through and leads each track with a smooth but powerful head banging tempo. The lyrics are written well and the emotional sing/scream in the vocals adds power and energy into each word. Overslept is definitely one of the best EP’s this reviewer has heard in a very long time and is an absolute necessity for every pop-punk lover out there.

Get the EP Overslept on iTunes.

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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