Release Date: Oct 8, 2013
Record label: Pure Noise
The second best pop-punk album of the year. Yep. Put simply, if it wasn’t for The Wonder Years’ ‘The Greatest Generation’ schooling absolutely everyone a few months back, ‘The Finer Things’ would be the best pop-punk album of the year. And, for a band that is yet to really break out of their native Albany, what these upstate New Yorkers have done on their debut is mindblowing.
State Champs showed with the Overslept 7-inch last year that they were a step ahead of the pop-punk game. It left an impression that they were ready to kick it up a notch and transform into something bigger. The Finer Things explores this promise and while glossing over some of their strong points, the magnitude of what it could have been leaves something to be desired.
As the familiar feedback of “Elevated” creeps into its explosive main course, State Champs give you no chance but to wake up and smell the pop-punk. It smells great, baked nearly to perfection by the guiding hands of producer Steve Klein of New Found Glory and engineer Sam Pura (the Story So Far, the American Scene), who prove to be a dynamic duo. Wiry frontman Derek Discanio is a bona fide overachiever, lacing his notes with enough resilient Upstate New York ’tude to keep you in tune.