State Champs - Unplugged and As Electric As Ever
8.4Overall Score

State Champs, Crying Out Loud
Pure Noise Records

Pop-punk: famed for its riffs, mosh-pit-inviting builds, shout-along choruses. And equally as famed for its gorgeously emotive acoustic incarnations – the Decembers, the A Part Of Me’s, the Remembering Sundays are met with reactions as intense as the biggest bangers of all. State Champs are the latest to announce the release of a set of instant fan-favourites, with their Unplugged EP set for release in August.

Does acoustic pop-punk have to be sad to bring a swell to your heart and tears to your eyes? Absolutely not, and State Champs prove it on their acoustic rendition of Criminal. It’s a dreamy, almost folky version of the 2018 tune from Living Proof, and it suits it brilliantly. The Lumineers-y strumming creates a glow about the track, and an electric guitar interjects with a melody that’s a well-slotted-in hint at the energy of the original, and Derek DiScanio’s vocals (now getting to be iconic as Ben Barlow’s) wow in centre stage.

State Champs have gone further than simply releasing reimaginations of old favourites though – proving that they flourish in any setting, Unplugged is home to four brand new tracks created specially! The first of those we get to hear is the beautiful Crying Out Loud, and it’s got the power of the loudest, heaviest SC song. It’s so catchy it could be a Disney original, it’s got as many facets as the shiniest diamond with a twinkle of piano against the acoustic guitar; safe to say we’re in love.

It’s for sure that Unplugged EP will bring State Champs fans some new setlist staples. They’ve stripped back the instrumentals, but they’ve not stripped back their energy, their emotion, or their raw talent for writing tunes that we adore, and we can’t wait to hear the rest.

Unplugged EP is out August 14th.

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