Chief State

Tough Love

BY Eva ZhuPublished Mar 26, 2020

With how incredible this album is, Chief State are poised to be the next big thing in pop punk.
Chief State are a five-piece from Vancouver who have been tearing up the local scene for a few years now. Signed to Mutant League, Tough Love is their full-length debut, after releasing two EPs.
Tough Love hits the ground running with "Try Hard," a perfect pop punk anthem that starts off unassumingly chill, before the uber-catchy guitar melody transports the listener to Warped Tour. Fraser Simpson's vocals are just clean enough for the lyrics to be clear; the song ends with him shouting something along the lines of "just fucking bullshit," which leads into "Deciduous," the lead single.
Just like "Try Hard," the guitar work is catchy and invokes bedroom dance parties. The depressing lyrics accurately describe the melancholy of living in "always raining" Vancouver. The band don't paint a great picture of their hometown, but at least they sing it with conviction.
The best chorus award definitely goes to "Reprise." While the verses are a little one-note, the boys reel listeners back in with the punchy sing-along chorus. Sonically, "Biding Time" is the most different, bordering on the obligatory "acoustic track" needed on every pop punk album, but it's just heavy enough to escape that label.
"Choke" is a relatable album downer about not knowing how to comfort a significant other or a friend. The speed picks up with "Peace of Mind," which closes the album on a high note.
Although Tough Love is Chief State's debut album, they already sound like seasoned pros. This album is for anyone who loves quality pop punk.
(Mutant League)

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