#153 – Deadly Conversation


Artist – State Champs
Album – The Finer Things
Year – 2013
Genre – Pop-Punk

Alright gang, it’s time for your weekly dose of pop-punk and pizza. The pop-punk I shall provide to you courtesy of State Champs. The pizza…well you’re on your own. But be advised, this review and song get 10,000 times better with a hot slice in your possession.

It’s very atypical to start a song like this with acoustic guitar, but that is exactly what happens…and it works! But right off the bat I have to say that frontman Derek Discanio’s voice is just great. It’s everything that a perfect pop-punk voice should be: loud, powerful, extremely melodic, and have that bit of emotional angst that seals the deal. Even at the beginning as he starts soft, you can tell he’s going to let it rip soon enough.

Now it’s “rock the fuck out time” as I like to call it. As the song blows up, you’re going to want to make sure you have head clearance, because you shouldn’t be surprised if you’re going to want to do some pop-punk jumps. You know the ones I’m talking about.

Every instrument in this song is so in your face and so well produced that just on an instrumental level, the song sounds good as hell. But Discanio adds so much to the song with his vocal presence and melodies. And the melodies are so, so strong here. The verses in this song are great and feature the song’s best lyricism for sure, but the pre-chorus and chorus will blow your mind with how catchy they are.

After a huge buildup, the chorus is the best part of the song for sure. Each phrase resolves perfectly, and the hooks will stick in your head like snot on a hanky. Discanio’s gets to show off his vocal chops, and his little vocal wavers sound fantastic. The harmonies here take what was already great and make it greater. Meanwhile, drums are crashing, and the guitar and bass slam on your ears like the most beautiful hammer.

The band has a great deal of talent, and you can hear how good they really are underneath each verse. Everybody is working at a fever pitch and all the energy is channeled right out. There’s a great little drop-out section in the next verse too to change things up a bit and give Discanio more show-off room.

After another thoroughly satisfying chorus, we hit the blast-beats bridge. Again, the band isn’t one to keep things same old, same old. They take all the best parts parts of pop-punk and combine them into this song. The bridge’s harmonies and pace lead perfectly into the last chorus, which shifts up the drums again for a constant crash, rather than a sporadic beat. This is exactly what I wanted to hear, and I love it when the audience gets what they want.

By the end of the song, there’s no doubt that this is one of the strongest offerings from the genre in recent memory. Every element is strong, and every piece of this machine works perfectly in tandem. This is a song you’re going to want. Go get it right now! And finish your pizza! What? You don’t have pizza? Well go get some, and THEN get the song!

Thanks for reading, as always! Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments, and share the song if you liked it!

One thought on “#153 – Deadly Conversation

  1. Kris, I love the way you delve into the mechanics of music. I think we all wonder from time to time just what is it about that song that we like. Although you can’t speak for everyone your musical examination often goes a long way in trying to answer a question that’s as much philosophical as it is emotional. Thanks for helping us understand why we love that song so much.

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