Monday, April 11, 2011

State Champs - Apparently, I'm Nothing

So...I'm sitting here...on the eve of Record Store Day...just wishing the Teenage Bottlerocket 7'' was fucking out already. So what do I do whilst waiting for a nice little ramonescore pop-punk album to review? I review a brocore album. Because in a world of such diversity:  I have barely any.

State Champs are another one of those brocore bands that we tend to review a lot, but this time its dudes from Albany, New York...which is a first. I mean, from listening to the album, it was extremely obvious that they fit perfectly into this subgenre...but upon reading their facebook info, it's made completely obvious. They're a tight knit group of friends who play video games and write music. I think that's pretty close to what I was thinking when I made up the genre name, too. Their style is heavily influenced by bands like New Found Glory, The Get Up Kids, Four Year Strong, Fall Out Boy, The Wonder Years and Every Time I Die. Bands I used to actually dislike until this past year, but now think are amazing beyond reason. Oh and All Time Low, but I didn't want to include them in the bands I love section. I guess I also don't love Every Time I Die and I put THEM there, but whatever.

What to expect from Apparently, I'm Nothing:

  • Catchy as fuck songs.
  • Instrumentals which are heavier than necessary to the point at which it becomes necessary all over again.
  • Not a ton of happens.
  • Whiny vocals...which is a plus or minus depending on what you're into.
  • Songs about girls.
  • More songs about girls.
  • Songs about friends.
  • And even more songs about girls.
And pretty much anything you'd expect out of their influences and similar bands, you'll get from them. They don't pull out many new tricks, and use methods which have been tried and proven over and over again to put out a record such as this. I really enjoy some of the songs on this album, and if you turn off your brain enough to enjoy it just based on the fact that it sounds pretty and is fun to sing along to, then you won't be bothered by all the scene clichés and fake sounding drums and whatnot.

The record boasts a strong beginning with the song "How It Used to Be", and pretty much fucking kills it with the backup vocals and leads, and it succeeds greatly in giving you a reason to fucking pay attention...and it's awesome. The album keeps up the energy throughout most of it, but you're quite aware that only some of these songs are really going to stick with you in the end. I think the order of songs could be altered a bit...maybe to just have it so it doesn't end with an acoustic track, because it kind of makes it feel like everything fell apart, and not for some cathartic build up, but instead just because the album is done. 

There are a few stand out tracks on this album, which I think are definitely worth your time of day. The song "I Would Try" has some really good lyrics and sing-along parts, and it makes it more obvious to me that I should be comparing their vocalist to Chris from Less Than Jake half the time. "Shades of Gray" is another good track, which is of course about a girl. It's definitely mixtape material, is what I'm getting at...and the singer sounds closer to Patrick Stumph for this one. I think the last track I love for this album is probably "Rooftops", and if you want to know why, you can just listen to it and see. It's not so different from the rest of the album, but it is catchy. And since I turned my brain off for this, that's what matters here!

You can download this album from itunes, or you can buy it over at their big cartel page! They have some songs up on their various social networking sites, and you can pretty much use their facebook as a directory to EVERYTHING. So hit it up, boys!


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