Ah, Punchline. A few years ago, no one had heard of them. They released a self titled CD in 1999, and an EP called Major Motion Picture in 2001, neither of which got much press. However, they did catch the attention of Fueled by Ramen records, who signed the band. In 2002 they released their first effort on Fueled by Ramen, The Rewind EP. They began touring more and getting more attention, and two years later, in 2004, they released their full length debut on Fueled By Ramen, Action.
Action is a solid pop punk album. There really aren't too many weak points. The production value is amazing for a relatively unknown band's debut album. The mix is done well, all the instruments are heard, even bass, which usually is forgotten and buried under the rest of the mix. The vocals are probably the strongest part of the music overall. The bassist and one of the guitarists both share lead singing duty, going back and forth within every track. The lyrics are well written, although some people would find them angsty and whiney, the way they are presented in the songs makes you forget their negativity.
The music is strong as well. The guitars mix power and octave chords with little lead melodies and fills thrown in everywhere. The drumming is solid and flows well with the songs, standing out in some places where it's meant to and providing a strong rhythm section otherwise. As I said before, the bass is well in the mix, and it also compliments the songs well, and breaks from the pop punk norm of just straight 8th note patterns. Unlike in a lot of bands these days, the drums and bass actually go together and follow each other, making the rhythm section that much better.
Strong songs are aplenty on Action. In my opinion, you don't start getting subpar tracks until near the end of the CD. A Sharp is A Flat and A Beautiful Green are my least favorite songs on the CD (although I still like them), and they are tracks 10 and 11. Open Up, Heart Transplant, Coldest of Calenders, and Battlescars are the songs that stick out in my mind as the best on the CD. I'd reccomend to listen to one or more of these if you want to check these guys out.
One thing I really liked about the album, which most CDs don't have, is the songs all flow into one another. They don't just stop and the next song starts, they all flow. The end of one song seamlessly leads into the start of the next.
Overall, I find that this is a strong pop punk album that most people will like even if they don't like pop punk. This album isn't the same bland poppunk you hear every day, it's better musically and lyrically. I would definately reccomend checking these guys out. They also have a new CD coming out in April entitled 37 Everywhere.
strong vocals and lyrics
A few weak songs
Coldest of Calenders
Rating - 8/10