September 14, 2022

Punchline - 37 Everywhere (2006)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Punk Rock
Style: Pop Punk
Label Number: FBR082

© 2006 Fueled By Ramen
Taking cues from 2004's Action, Pittsburgh's Punchline return with a heavy dose of wired pop-punk on their sophomore Fueled by Ramen full-length, 37 Everywhere. Boasting catchy hooks, three tradeoff vocalists, and singalong melodies, their sound remains consistent with past releases -- which is to say it's also consistent with many of their pop-oriented labelmates. However, the guys have been around a bit longer than some of their peers (forming in 1997), and it's presumably their seasoned nature that mercifully helps the guys stay away from the eyeliner clich├ęs and hyper-ironic lyrics plaguing their younger counterparts. Their angst is of an older variety, therefore making the album ideal for aging pop-punkers (and by that, an age of twenty-something is implied) who still love the music but are quickly outgrowing melodramatic tales of high-school anguish. Even as Punchline were never drenched in sugary sweetness to begin with, 37 Everywhere finds them adopting a more robust sound than before in conjunction with been-around-the-block lyrics that rely (for the most part) on optimism more than weariness. "Flashlight" is one of the best tracks on the album -- with thick, strong hooks that border on a feeling of manic exuberance -- but, unfortunately, it sets the bar slightly too high for the rest of the album to reach. Coming close, though, are "The Fake, the Snake, and the Birthday Cake," a breakup tune for dancing and clapping along, and the driving, buoyant chorus of "Green Light." However, the latter also owns the first cringe-worthy attempt to reach vocal notes that just don't want to be reached. The underlying bassline of "They Are Strong Hands" gives the song a funky, almost ska-like feel, but the chorus disturbingly conjures up lyrics to Matthew Wilder's "Break My Stride" (go look it up; you know the song). And "Exactly" starts out well enough, but eventually incorporates an overly dramatic vocal rant way too similar to the outburst in Good Charlotte's "Predictable." Overall, 37 Everywhere comes off as slightly more diverse, especially in the vocals, than prior efforts -- and that makes the album enjoyable in spite of its flaws, even if not completely memorable.

tags: punchline, 37 everywhere, 2006, flac,


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