On their latest EP Vacant, New Jersey pop punk band States//Capitals have put out one of the best pop punk EP’s we’ve heard so far this year. Just in time for summer, band members Richie Arthur and Jeff Maurer have written catchy pop punk tunes that makes the genre feel relevant again and catchy as ever. The EP opens with “Depression” which is a odd name for the track as its music is anything but gloomy. While the track has tinges of adolescent pains throughout, the songs insanely catchy chorus is enough to sway listeners to pay attention, as many would believe that the band is playing a genre that is way past its prime, due to its surge in popularity in the early 2000’s, while eventually cooling off a few years later. The group’s tight musicianship is notable as well, as each hook heard throughout the song grabs you and urges you to sing along.
Next up is the EP’s title track, and its slight electronic influence is a new element that is well explored in many of today’s current pop punk bands, and even though this can sometimes feel overdone, States//Capitals have tastefully intertwined electronic elements with classic characteristics of pop punk. While the vocals on this track are obviously auto tuned, everything fits well and pulls itself together to become a well written summer jam that you won’t get out of your head.
Songs such as “Luxury” head down the same path as the other cuts on Vacant, though its catchiness more than makes up for its redundant sound. Sounding reminiscent of The Maine’s first album Can’t Stop Won’t Stop released in 2008, States//Capitals really know how to fuse pop punk with other styles. While it would be a stretch to say that the group sounds entirely unique, for those pop punk fans who are on the lookout for discovering new bands within the genre, States//Capitals feel fresh and very listenable, and Vacant is a release that no pop punk fan should miss.