Vancouver’s Chief State are one of Canada’s best kept pop punk secrets. This will likely change with the release of the band’s latest EP Tough Love, due for release on March 27, 2020 via Mutant League Records. The effort contains seven tracks showcasing some of the best pop punk Canada has to offer in 2020. Lead single “Deciduous” nicely displays the passionate vocals of frontman Fraser Simpson backed by hook-laden riffs and an accomplished rhythm section. Don’t be surprised if the song gets stuck in your head for days, as it is unquestionably a highlight of the collection.
“Biding Time” is as aggressive lyrically as it is buoyant musically and will undoubtedly become a breakup anthem for a new generation. “Choke” slows things down briefly but maintains the theme throughout the entirety of Tough Love, an expert balance between the release of emotional angst and healthy self-reflection.
In an age when pop punk bands have arguably been a-dime-a-dozen since the advent of Blink-182 in the mid-90s, it’s clear Chief State have a quality to their musicianship that sets them apart. This quality is abundantly displayed on Tough Love, an indication that Chief State won’t be Canada’s best kept pop punk secret for long.