Darling

Darling

 

Go cry for the World, my Darling.

Go.

Cry loudly and see if anyone takes notice.

You are a drama queen, my Darling;

And not in the good sense, like winning an award.

And do you know the funniest part that has been noted?

It’s that this is the best goddamn side of you, Darling.

I’ll be perfectly honest – you’re more self-absorbed than a sponge.

If you were being scored on this it’ll be perfect tens across the board.

Well, maybe a nine point five – because you’ll never be perfect, Darling.

Please remember to give your fist a kiss before you give my face a punch.

But my words describing you are mightier than the sword.

Maybe it’s a double-edged sword that, perhaps, I won’t see until hindsight

And if that’s the case – you’ll still get no apology, Darling.

So whilst you cry please see if anyone will take your side to fight

Against me and my words of my version of events.

I doubt that many people will hold your banner for long, Darling.

I have no one holding mine.

I don’t need one, Darling.

What’s supporting me is my memory of all those times I spent

Being pushed down, used, abused, cheated, hit, crying, shaking, made to frown…

 

Darling.

 

I do like your crown.

 

 

 

 

It suits you.

UK Education

UK Education

 

For a country that preaches being one of the best places in the world, why does the system in this country give no merit to artists who find life-pleasure in their work? Why must we all be stuck in a cubicle to make ends meet? Maybe, just maybe, instead of school forcing the youth to believe that maths, business and science are the only success stories, perhaps we should teach people to follow their dreams and follow their personal goals? Maybe all those kids who sucked at maths, science, sport, and business should not be forced to reach the goals set by a test. Those fucking numbers on a fucking score sheet mean nothing. Maybe more merit should be placed on making this world a better place. I have seen more artists make people smile than politicians or business leaders. I have seen a more scathing review of contemporary life from artists and writers than from professors and those we elect to be in charge of the nation. Maybe we should teach healthcare, cultural appreciation, artistic merit, and how to pay taxes. Not once have I used a fucking quadrilateral equation – but no one ever told me how to fill out a tax return form. It is easy to read from a textbook – but have you ever tried to be a nurse? Maybe those people who felt belittled because their talent lay in drawing, sculpting, nursing, and writing should be given the chance to feel good about their individual talents. Those people who aced science, maths, sports and business in school left feeling superior – whilst artists, who give meaning to our lives, are left feeling underappreciated and kicked down. Maths and science are compulsory, even for those who cannot do them, yet the people who are useless at art are given the opportunity to drop and ignore those subjects at the age of fourteen. Why do we teach that one person’s talents are superior and more necessary than someone else’s? I would much rather be surrounded by artists of all types than people who strive to make a personal fortune because some unequal system tells them that their talents are what make them successful by certain standards. Things need to change. Now.

Darling

Darling

 

Go cry for the World, my Darling.

Go.

Cry loudly and see if anyone takes notice.

You are a drama queen, my Darling;

And not in the good sense, like winning an award.

And do you know the funniest part that has been noted?

It’s that this is the best goddamn side of you, Darling.

I’ll be perfectly honest – you’re more self-absorbed than a sponge.

If you were being scored on this it’ll be perfect tens across the board.

Well, maybe a nine point five – because you’ll never be perfect, Darling.

Please remember to give your fist a kiss before you give my face a punch.

But my words describing you are mightier than the sword.

Maybe it’s a double-edged sword that, perhaps, I won’t see until hindsight

And if that’s the case – you’ll still get no apology, Darling.

So whilst you cry please see if anyone will take your side to fight

Against me and my words of my version of events.

I doubt that many people will hold your banner for long, Darling.

I have no one holding mine.

I don’t need one, Darling.

What’s supporting me is my memory of all those times I spent

Being pushed down, used, abused, cheated, hit, crying, shaking, made to frown…

 

Darling.

 

I do like your crown.

 

 

 

 

It suits you.

State Champs: Around the World and Back – Album Review

State Champs: Around the World and Back – Album Review

 

I first heard State Champs when their debut album The Finer Things was released, and I was very impressed. It was a great first full-length album – not perfect – but it definitely had a lot of potential and was a solid addition to the pop-punk scene. I had seen them touring The Finer Things whilst supporting the Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour and they were an incredible live act. I then saw them headline in Southampton with Knuckle Puck as support. State Champs know how to put on a good show, and when I got to meet them they are all incredibly friendly, nice guys. When Around the World and Back was released I was excited to see how State Champs had developed and where their music had gone.

 

Sadly, I was disappointed with Around the World and Back. It’s not a bad album, it’s just very plain, quite mediocre, and doesn’t hold a candle to The Finer Things.

 

The first track Eyes Closed starts with a pounding drum line, screeching guitars, and a great pop-punk hook – what a great intro to the album! This is one of the best songs on the album due to the raw pop-punk vibes. It has a fairly standard chord sequence, lyrics about relationships, and a simple song set-up. Nothing to write home about, but not a song you actively skip over.

 

Secrets was the first single to be released and on my first listen I thought it was a great little song. The vocal lines had a nice crunch to them, the guitars played off with each other nicely, and the drums were executed excellently. However, after quite a few listens, the song has become incredibly stale and I can’t quite explain why. As is the case with a lot of this album, it just comes down to the fact it’s a fairly standard pop-punk song from a young band. There’s nothing special about it. And that does seem a little worrying for a lead single.

 

Losing Myself sounds a little more like bands coming out of the UK pop-punk scene such as Neck Deep and Roam. It is a much stronger single than Secrets in my opinion due to the greater sense of development for the song structure and the drum line is amazing. If you take anything away from this album, it should be that the drummer Evan has outdone himself. The little fills thrown in throughout the album and the mastering/mixing of the drums are really impressive. The issue with Losing Myself is that the lyrics stray into the emo category of pop-punk, but the music just feels wrong for the story of the song.

 

Following this is All You are is History, which is an incredibly forgetful song. I feel it is one of the weaker links of the album and it disappointed me on my first few listens as it almost seemed like a filler track. It didn’t seem to have the development of other songs.

 

Perfect Score just felt embarrassing. At this point in the album, when you reminisce about The Finer Things, you notice that State Champs appear to have opted for the poppier side of the genre. This is one of the songs I wouldn’t judge you for skipping.

 

I love the intro of All or Nothing, I think it’s a solid track with some great lyrics, some beautiful guitars, a great vocal line, and once again those drums are great! This song is a contender for my favourite on the album. It’s a traditional slow pop-punk song (which does feel out of place following Perfect Score) and it does a damn good job ticking all those boxes for the slow song of the album.

 

Shape Up throws us back into the pop-punk mix as another standard song with standard chords, a fairly standard hook, and angsty lyrics about wanting to rebel. Not a bad song, but nothing great.

 

Back and Forth is another standard song. I started to get bored at this part of the album. These songs are something we’ve all heard before, but there are better versions of the same thing. This was another song that unfortunately felt like filler.

 

Now we reach the titular song; Around the World and Back. It’s a beautiful acoustic song with some fairly good lyrics. Derek did a great job with the vocals on this track and the instruments have all worked very well together. You don’t feel like any parts of the song overwhelm or cover other moments. But then disaster strikes and you suddenly realise the song is a poor rip-off of A Part Of Me by Neck Deep, or perhaps How I Go by Yellowcard. It’s another song on the album that highlights there are other bands that have created the same song before, just in a slightly better way.

 

Breaking Ground is probably the heaviest sounding song on the album and it is definitely a breath of fresh air. Without this song, the whole album would feel like it lacked the crunch you expect from a pop-punk band. It also has a great bridge with a fun guitar lick and some choral vocals that build the song into being a contender for the best song on the album.

 

Finally we come to Tooth And Nail, which takes us full circle and sounds like the first half of the album. It’s a traditional pop-punk song with a fun guitar lick, palm muted guitars, standard structure, and is of course about a break-up. This is what State Champs are good at and it shows.

 

Ultimately I was disappointed with the album, as after seeing and meeting State Champs, and listening to The Finer Things regularly, you would have hoped that Around the World and Back would be the best pop-punk album of the year. The band has worked so hard to create their fan base, their debut was incredibly good, and they put on fantastic live shows (you really do need to go and see them); but their follow-up album just felt lacklustre. There was nothing special about it and it felt too safe. It’s one of the albums that you can listen to, but it will never be your favourite. State Champs still do pop-punk better than many of the current bands in the scene, but you just know they are capable of superior music.

 

I’m giving Around the World and Back three skateboards out of five.