Punchline - Action (Cover Artwork)


Action (2004)

Fueled By Ramen

My friends and I often joke about something we call a "genre cap", which is similar to a salary cap in sports. The genre cap simply dictates that there can only be so many bands with roughly the same sound. After about 25 bands sound somewhat the same, no one is allowed to form a band that sounds even remotely like the pre-existing ones. If you've been to a local show recently, you'll notice the "bands that sound like Glassjaw" genre is not only full, but reaching ridiculous proportions.

Obviously, this kind of limitation is ridiculous when you view people's musical tastes as subjective: Sure, the band I like may be a derivative of a derivative of a derivative, but dammit, it makes me happy, so leave me alone. The lack of originality may be frustrating and even insulting to some, but if an 8th-rate Finch knockoff can move somebody, so be it.

That being said, Punchline's latest full length album "Action" is here. While it may be yet another snowflake on the out-of-control avalanche that is pop-punk, it's still a pretty catchy release with some pretty memorable hooks. Sure, the multiple high-pitched vocals, broken-heart lyrics, and high energy pop punk have been done many times before, but songs that are as catchy as "The World" and "Heart Transplant" demand repeat listens. "Battlescars" is a fun sing-a-long ballad that will make you want to play air guitar and synch-jump with the guy next to you. The album's strongest effort, "Why Is He Right?" is pretty much essential listening for fans of the genre. Sean O'Keefe (Motion City Soundtrack, Fall Out Boy, Spitalfield) and his crisp radio-ready production combined with higher profile tours and mad Purevolume listens could provide this band with their first considerable blip on the mainstream music radar.

Pop punk is all about catchy hooks, and Punchline delivers them in droves with "Action". It may not be anything you haven't heard before, but if you like Fall Out Boy or New Found Glory, you could have a winner here.