Punchline

So Nice To Meet You EP

Written by: PP on 05/05/2012 14:09:29

Angsty and emotional pop punkers Punchline have always been criminally underrated on this side of the pond (and to some extent also in North America), given how their Anberlin/Armor For Sleep rooted alternative rock expression has always borrowed just enough from pop punk bands like Houston Calls and Valencia to stay ridiculously catchy. They've previously written songs so irresistible that I've nominated them as some of the best songs written in their respective years, yet they've always suffered from a degree of inconsistency that has prevented their albums from becoming great instead of just pretty good over the years.

Enter new EP "So Nice To Meet You", a title which could be a reference to the re-invention of the Punchline sound. Stretching their expression further into pure pop rock and powerpop than ever before, it's a smack in the face for anyone who wanted to hear another "Seventy" or "Ghostie", but a dream come true for anyone who wanted the band to push more into the direction of, say, Cartel, Patent Pending, or The Maine. The speeds have been cut to half, and the band uses typical pop rock hooks to write safe and predictable songs that lack the flair and quirk of their previous material. The bouncy dance-pop of "Universe" is catchy, sure, and "Very Nervous System" almost sounds like a Third Eye Blind song, but the truth is the band fail to arouse any sort of long-term interest in these songs. Covering the 70s pop hit "I Want You To Want Me" by Cheap Trick as the fifth and final track on the EP seals the deal in my opinion: Punchline want to become a band like The Maine, a pop rock band with a ton of underage fans, but one which few experienced music fans are interested in due to the perceivably shallow expression that the band offers.

You can argue that "Everything I Wanted" has hints of the old Punchline in it because of the slightly distorted emo croons in the vocals, as well as the melancholic keyboard melodies in the background that remind you of Motion City Soundtrack, but as a whole "So Nice To Meet You" EP is the epitome of the inconsistency I talked about earlier. One track just isn't enough to draw the listener in long-term, at least not enough for this scribe. So lets just leave it at that - it's a decent EP with catchy songs, but how many of you will be listening to this in a couple of months' time?

Download: Universe, Everything I Wanted
For the fans of: Armor For Sleep, Valencia, Houston Calls, Anberlin, The Maine
Listen: Facebook

Release date 03.01.2012
Modern Short Stories

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