Punchline - Lion (Cover Artwork)


Lion (2018)


A lot of things can happen in 20 years. Life’s ups and downs can happen. Relationships come and go. Education can go in one ear and out there other. People move, people come back. In 1998 a 3 piece band called Punchline formed when its members we’re in high school. 20 years later, the band has released their latest full-length album, Lion, their 6th album since their break in 2003, and 8th full length album over all. Punchline have been through line-up changes, moving tides in the musical landscape, seeing their friends and peers go on to bigger venues, but through at all, have maintained their musical integrity, and lead singer Steve Soboslai’s constant grin leading the way for the bands career.

In a bit of transparency, I haven’t been the worlds’ biggest Punchline follower. I loved Action, their 2004 breakthrough album. Their 3 part harmonies, trading vocals between Steve and then guitarist Paul Menotiades we’re fresh and original, and honestly the album still gets played regularly at my house. That isn’t to say I haven’t enjoyed their albums over time, I just feel they haven’t been as strong. Enter 2018’s Lion.

Opening track “Friend from the Future” sounds like vintage Punchline. Upbeat, catchy, and melodies galore. It is the perfect opening song for the album, and an especially great choice for anyone trying to see what Punchline is all about these days. Punchline has never been a conventionally straight forward band, and that has always been a charming quality about them. Lion has sprinkled all parts of Punchline’s career, to account for a very cohesive listen. Be it the hard rocking track “Sensory Overload”, which features long-time friend of the band Anthony Raneri of Bayside, or the laid back mellow balladry of “Darkest Dark” that features Matt Thiessen of Relient K, there is something for fans of the band new and old.

Still wondering if you want to give the album a listen? Check out “Honey This is Nothing New”, and other upbeat rocker, that has all the angst of 15 years ago, but all the catchiness of modern pop that Punchline has so carefully crafted over their 20 year career. While I am unsure where this album will bring Punchline as far as newer fans, I will guarantee that it will get older fans back into the group that may not have been in tune over the years as some of us were. They are touring through April in support of their new album, and the Vinyl can be purchased on their website at punchlion.com.