The State Champs - The AcousticThingsAfter releasing what was a strong contender for pop-punk album of 2013 in debut album The Finer Things, Albany quintet State Champs have given five tracks from their debut an acoustic renovation. Suitably named The Acoustic Things, the EP also has two completely new acoustic numbers.

Acoustic releases are infamously hit and miss, but luckily here it seems we have a hit, which comes as a surprise from a band whose debut full-length was completely absent of any (solely) acoustic tracks. That being said, as soon as you hear the acoustic renditions of old favourites like ‘Elevated’ and ‘Hard To Please’ it’s hard not to get on board. The songs become chilled out delights, just as catchy as ever, though now tinged with tambourines among some more stripped back guitar work.

Elsewhere, The Finer Things closer ‘Easy Enough’ shows State Champs at their acoustic best, becoming an even more emotional sing-along track. Despite its stripped back nature, the song loses none of its original strengths. This kind of effect is present throughout the first five tracks of the EP, working surprising well for a genre that usually relies so much on energetic tunes.

New tracks ‘Leave You In The Dark’ and ‘If I’m Lucky’ are feathery and delicate to the extent they could be lullabies. Derek Discanio’s flawlessly executed vocals shine through on these tracks, as their more laid back nature gives his voice more of the limelight than previous releases. It is clear to see that he has one of the best (if not the best) voices in pop-punk.

If The Finer Things is the perfect party music, The Acoustic Things is made for the morning after. A solid EP that, happily, was not just another pointless and boring acoustic release.

George Parr


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