Pop and punk are two descriptive terms for music that have been thrown around loosely over the past decade or so. Every group of cute 20-something major label poster boys with Marshall half stacks and predictable, cringe-worthy love songs often get tagged "pop punk", leaving bands like Pittsburgh's Punchline understandably trying to get as far away from the term as possible. Punchline may, however, be the perfect example of what pop-punk SHOULD be. Pop, in the sense of well-crafted songs with heartfelt themes and mind-sticking melodies. Punk, in the sense of a do-it-yourself attitude with a figurative middle finger stuck up at the current music industry. All of this wrapped up in four honest musicians who would love nothing more than to shake your hand.
Punchline first became nationally recognized in 2003, when they signed to Fueled By Ramen records after self-releasing a few moderately successful albums on their own. As FBR became a hotbed for young, up and coming pop music, Punchline began to feel as though they were lost in the mix, despite rigorous touring and a hardcore fanbase. 2004's "Action" and 2006's "37 Everywhere" were both very well-received, as Punchline continued touring both nationally and internationally. By the time they released 2008's "Just Say Yes", however, the band realized they need to make a change. They started their own label, Modern Short Stories, and released the album on their own, without shopping it to a single other label.
"No one will work harder for us THAN us", guitarist/vocalist Steve Soboslai confidently states. Working hard to get your music out is important, but even more important is the music itself. That being said, Punchline's "Delightfully Pleased" (out August 10th, 2010) is a testament to how paying your dues and making real music can pay off. Produced by Jamie Woolford, the album is the pinnacle of an illustrious musical journey that has never stopped and shows no sign of slowing. "Delightfully Pleased" is an all-out, feel-good album with powerful lyrics and a message of hope, which is evident from the very first line of the album - "You won't find songs of hopelessness on this record". The album ends on a much more important message - "You've got to create your own world". "That was something I had told my bandmates before, and they slipped it in as the last line of the album without me even knowing", bassist Chris Fafalios says. "We got too wrapped up in the success of everyone else around us and worrying about superficial things...the most important thing is that we make music we love that someday our grandkids will hear". With their best album to date and a growing record label of their own, Punchline have indeed created their own world. Maybe pop punk isn't such a bad thing after all.