Punchline may be born of the late nineties grunge-punk transition, but there’s a wealth of songwriting ingenuity in their songs that puts them in a category all their own.
Since forming in Pittsburgh in 1998, Punchline has witnessed a bevy of punk trends waiver in and out of fashion while their sound has only gotten stronger. It’s catchy and it’s unapologetically punk rock, but the guys of Punchline have an ear for composition that goes beyond bar chords and distortion pedals. Listening to Punchline is an exhibit in matching catchiness with innovative composition; armed with your basic two guitar, bass and drums lineup, these guys build tight, bright rock songs that sound and feel greater than the sum of their parts.
Over six albums, Punchline has managed to encapsulate all the strange, wonderful, terrible sensations of growing up, particularly on their latest two releases: 2010’s ‘Delightfully Pleased’ and 2012’s EP ‘So Nice To Meet You.’ Gone are the anxious teenage insecurities of high school and the years after. These albums show a band making amends with adulthood, if not begrudgingly, a perspective summarized in “21 Forever,” whose chorus fittingly repeats “You can’t be 21 forever.”
As a part of the ever-strong Pittsburgh punk community that reaches back to Anti-Flag and The Cynics, Punchline has succeeded in maintaining an ambitious attitude while staying true to their fans and themselves. And after founding their own label in 2008, Modern Short Stories, they’ve been able to lend a hand to some young and worthy bands while building an ever stronger local scene.