Punchline – Just Say Yes

 

Band: Punchline
Album: Just Say Yes
Genre: Pop Punk
Label: Modern Short Stories

Tracks:
1. Ghostie
2. The Hit
3. Punish or Privilege
4. Maybe I’m Wrong
5. Somewhere In The Dark
6. Just Say Yes
7. How Does This Happen
8. Get Off My Train
9. Developing You, Camera
10. My White Collared Shirt
11. The Other Piano Man
12. Castaway 

After listening to Just Say Yes for the first time, I wasn’t sure what to think. I can say this though: It was definitely not what I was expecting. Breaking out of their former selves with this album, Punchline has expanded their style into some of the various realms of Pop. They went some places that I wasn’t exactly expecting them to, and I’m honestly not sure that I appreciated every stop that they made along the way. 

“Ghostie,” the first track on Just Say Yes, was my first clue that this album was going to be completely different from what I knew of the band. It was the same Pop Punk sound that Punchline has become known for, but taken to the next level. This song shows a level of sophistication in musicianship not usually found in the genre. Abandoning the typical verse-chorus-verse song structure that often dominates the genre, “Ghostie” is truly a breath of fresh air. 

However, not every song left me feeling as enthused. The album had a great deal of variety to it, but not every song felt as strong as others did. “Punish Or Privilege,” for example, had this great 60’s vibe and catchy vocals. It was really unique, totally a solid song. Then you listen to a track like “Somewhere In The Dark,” which is this cabaret song that feels tired and unoriginal, and you don’t get that same sense of being unique. The band experiments with many different elements of Pop and Indie music, to varying levels of success. 

This is Punchline’s first album with guitarist Jon Belan, who replaced Greg Wood in 2006. Jon lends his vocals to a couple of songs on including, “The Hit,” and, “Punish Or Privilege.” His voice is very strong and gravely, and provides a good contrast to lead vocalist Steve Soboslai. He brings a new element to Punchline that is a welcome change. 

Just Say Yes had its ups and downs; some songs didn’t feel as strong as others. Even still, it’s a pretty solid and versatile release from the band. Punchline tried to do something new, which can be hard to pull off. In this case, they did a pretty good job, but they probably could have done much better. 

*Written By: Kyle Viana*

Grade:  7.5/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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