Released: October Genre: Pop-punk Metacritic Rating: 90%
The Finer Things was the album that pop-punk needed in 2013. With the genre constantly losing credibility State Champs served up a feel-good slice of upbeat sunshine paired with teenage angst and staying power. It may not bring anything revolutionary but The Finer Things is pop-punk done exceptionally well, and singlehandedly breathed life back into a genre I’d struggled with this year. The huge choruses of opener ‘Elevated’ and the re-hashed ‘Critical’ are some of the better moments, while tracks like ‘Over The Line’ and ‘Hard To Please’ are insatiably catchy, taking aspects of New Found Glory and channelling them effectively. Sing along verses and lines are in abundance, and there’s something for the majority of listeners to relate to, especially on ‘Simple Existence’. Lead vocalist Derek Discanio pushes himself at every opportunity and the rest of State Champs follow suit, filling every second of the album with a spark that most artists struggled to emulate this year. The vinyl version is also one of the best looking records I’ve purchased this year, and I’ve played it enough to do it justice.