The new generation of pop-punk is one of the hottest topics surrounding the current rock scene and last year, New York quintet State Champs secured their spot in the limelight with their first full-length record, The Finer Things, which was undoubtedly one of the best debuts we’ve heard in a while. Since then, the boys have been busy teasing us with the anticipated release of their acoustic EP The Acoustic Things, the Sunday morning to The Finer Things’ Saturday night.
The EP primarily consists of renditions of older songs: Elevated, Deadly Conversations, Hard to Please, Simple Existence and Easy Enough. The majority are replicas of their originals, with nothing new to offer besides an acoustic guitar – some listeners may feel a bit cheated at the lack of imagination shown in these performances. Far from being purely acoustic and stripped of all else, tambourines and finger snaps fill out the spaces previously occupied by drums, with the occasional piano key making an appearance in Elevated.
New tracks Leave You In The Dark and If I’m Lucky are reminiscent of Mayday Parade’s 2011 self-titled album, with the occasional added grit from vocalist Derek Discanio. These two songs are pleasantly delicate and soft, brimming with the emotion and angst that keeps these tranquil tracks firmly in the pop-punk frame.
Probably the highlighting feature of The Acoustic Things is that by toning it down, State Champs perfectly showcase Discanio’s mix of soft and gravelly vocals that the electric originals just can’t expose. The Acoustic Things is a great treat for existing fans, but if you’re on the fence about where to invest your cash, The Finer Things would be a far better investment.