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""Just Say Yes" (UK Review)"

Punchline deserve to be thoroughly congratulated for this. As pop-punk reaches saturation point it's nice to see a release that clearly comes from a genuine love for the genre. After leaving the sacred home of all things catchy (Fueled By Ramen), Punchline have branched out on their own and self-released this, their fifth album. With heavy nods to The Get Up Kids and Saves The Day, it is clear that Punchline have pedigree. Throw in a touch of Panic's eccentricity and you have an album that sounds relevant while nodding to what has come before. Closing with the Death Cab-esque "Castaway", Punchline have created a record that deserves to see them skyrocket.

-Barney Dufton - Rocksound

""Just Say Yes" by skylinepress.net"

Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Punchline put a familiar spin on an old sound. But nowadays, who doesn't? Starting the album off with the uniquely titled 'Ghostie' gave me pause and made me roll my eyes. That is until I heard the track – which is fantastic and can stand on its own as a song. Beginning with guitar strumming from your favorite punk band of all time, it swells into something much more listenable, and gives no real indication as to what the album contains musically. The guitar work featured on this track is excellent and really is a great way to get the ball rolling.
Punchline have always been one of my favorite punk bands and a classic in my CD collection, Even if I wanted to hate this record which there is no possible way you could hate this album, its classic pop-punk that i've and everyone has been missing for years upon years and Punchline have brought it back. I appluad them for actually making the return and to keep on making good music. Unlike other bands that just gave up and let down their fans (Name Taken).

"Just Say Yes" definitely shows signs of a band that is getting close to breaking mainstream ground and getting major air play if the right tracks are pushed from this album. I think if they came to my town, I would put in the effort to check out their live show, but living in a small city it's hard for me to see anyone unless I drive for hours. With the energy that is present on this album, I would expect even more from their live show and I hope I would not be disappointed. This band does have a lot of potential and they always have, I like this new sense of Punchline.

Punchline is what it is pop-punk without shame if you love that sort of thing then definitely go pick up this record.

~ Wayne
September 16 2008 - SkylinePress.net

""Just Say Yes" by Absolutepunk.net"

Let me get this out of the way: thank goodness Punchline is no longer a Fueled by Ramen band. That black hole of a label - where some talented bands go and die for a few years or forever (it depends, really) - is too caught up in executing bad decisions concerning promising bands who have taken some big steps backwards, opting for formula over meaning.

For Pittsburgh pop-punk mainstays Punchline, however, it was an escape best suited for them. In the time they've left their former do-good label, the band won $25,000 and started their own label, Modern Short Stories, whose first release is the band's fifth full-length, Just Say Yes. After many were disappointed with 2006's 37 Everywhere, perhaps because it's failed to contain the energy and interesting pop-punk strategy 2004's Action had, people were discouraged. Fear not, APFaithful - pop-punk is in the right hands, and Punchline are one of the floundering genre's saviors.

Despite the artwork that may point some in the direction of any current FBR band, the album is a throwback to the band's older, better-crafted sound - or more appropriately, the proper follow-up to their fan favorite,Action, taking on the same song progressions and sound qualities that album had. It doesn't hurt that Sean O'Keefe is behind the boards this time again, as well, splitting production duties with Jamie Woolford (Let Go, The Stereo), both making the recordings sound full, lush and crisp. The piano-pop of "Somewhere in the Dark" is brisk and shines with optimism; "Ghostie" is overflowing with aggression and pop; "Get Off My Train!" is a fast-paced, garage-rock scorcher; "How Does This Happen?" is classic Punchline, taking a simple hook and boosting it into the stratosphere; "Just Say Yes" is experimental pop, similar to Jimmy Eat World's Clarityyears; "The Other Piano Man" is a raucous circus of harmony; and "Castaway" might be their best closing anthem ever, following the same build-up as "Exactly," showing that Punchline isn't your run-of-the-mill pop-punk band - their lyrics have always been largely introspective and investigations of modern human follies.

Normally, vocal duties were split evenly between band members, however on Just Say Yes, Steve Soboslai is the main attraction, with Jon Belan and Chris Fafalios rarely chiming in (as compared to previous albums). While their presence is missed, Soboslai continues to improve as a perfect voice for Punchline. He has just the right amount of angst in his voice, combined with sincerity and an eager notepad from which he has a lot to say, as if he's reading a flurry of thoughts. His voice is clear, concise and when the other bandmates join in, nothing ever seems out of place or whacked (although Belan sounds like a guest vocalist from Atreyu sometimes). P.J. Caruso's drumkit is so rich and has the perfect amount of "oomph," giving the disc a great deal of depth and power ("Punish or Privilege" is a great showcase of this). The only pratfall Punchline might need to consider improving is their lyrical abilities, which can be quite cornball and cliched ("Hope is just this thing that holds us down"; "I've got some news / I'm better off without you"), however the melodies are so addicting, it's rather difficult to fault them for a cheesy line here or there.

When you break it down, Just Say Yes is that record that reminds us of what made indie labels like Fueled by Ramen so special in the early part of the millennium. Punchline may have gone out and won a good chunk of change to restart their musical career, but in the process, just may have recorded their best album to date. It's bouncy, rhythmic and snappy - the way you've come to expect your old FBR favorites (such as The Stereo and Jersey, for starters). Pop-punk can be done effectively - and Just Say Yes is a terrific example of precisely howthat is.

Recommended if You Like
Punchline's Action; The Stereo's Rewind + Record; MxPx's Panic; Yellowcard's Underdog EP; former Fueled by Ramen bands who like to show you how much that label used to kick fucking ass
Choice Cuts
"Somwhere in the Dark," "Castaway" and "How Does This Happen?" - AbsolutePunk.net

""Just Say Yes" by PunkBands.com"

This new record from Pittsburgh's Punchline starts a new chapter in the band's history. After, in the words of the letter enclosed with the record, "making the tough decision to part ways with their previous label (Casa de Wentz, aka Fueled by Ramen) in order to break out of the shadow of that label's current stable of pop punk poster boys," the band were able to start over with their own label and from the opening track, "Ghostie," they are making damn sure that they make their name known with killer hooks and really interesting vocals. "The Hit" has all the makings of one and should definitely be checked out by fans of AAR and any other pop band that shows their punk tendencies.

Punchline are quite different from a lot of the shit that's out now. As opposed to FOB, listening to Punchline is much more of a pleasure and it would be a thrill to hear some of these songs, including "Punish or Privilege," on the radio. By being able to play blistering punk one minute and Ben Folds-influenced songs like "Somewhere in the Dark" the next, it's impossible to figure out where they're going to go with each tune but that's the thrill of this record and by and large, this band.

Though the record starts to lag about halfway through as the songs start sounding alike, the band keeps plowing along. "Developing You, Camera" is one of the best songs on the record with the hooky line "get older, then get over me." The humorous "The Other Piano Man" shows the band at their quirky best and allows them to bring more melody into the mix without being ridiculous.

In the end, Just Say Yes is a huge step forward for the band and should be a sign of great things to come. - Punkbands.com


Major Motion Picture LP
2001 Self Released

Rewind EP
2003 Fueled By Ramen

Action LP
2004 Fueled By Ramen

37 Everywhere LP
2006 Fueled By Ramen

Just Say Yes LP
2008 Modern Short Stories



Pop-punk gets a bad rap from critics for being trite, uncreative, and a litany of other
unmentionables. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's Punchline shatter that mold and offer
much more than the expected diet of pixie stick choruses and jawbreaking three-chord
guitar riffs. Singer and guitarist Steve Soboslai, bassist Chris Fafalios, drummer P.J.
Caruso, and second guitarist Jon Belan are four friends from high school; no major label
or management company assembled this rock outfit. Since the band started in 1997,
Punchline have sold over 100,000 albums worldwide and toured in six countries. Belan,
the newest member of the band, doubles as the pianist for the band, adding a new
dimension to Punchline's sound. He joined after the release of their last album, 37
Everywhere. "Jon's piano skills have helped us be just what we want to be," Soboslai

After three releases on Fueled by Ramen, Punchline was ready to try something new.
Soboslai remarks, “We ran our course with Fueled By Ramen. As a band, we saw an
opportunity to explore unmarked territory and we took it.” Punchline was able to self-
finance their newest record, Just Say Yes, after winning a $25,000 grand prize from a
video contest through Heavy.com. They won by a landslide. According to the press
release announcing the winner, Punchline's band-posted videos were viewed over
1,100,000 times in four months. "We owe it all to our hardcore fans - they will do
anything for us, and it's incredible."

Channeling their fan support and anything-is-possible attitude, Punchline turned to
Jamie Woolford (Hit the Lights, The Format) and Sean O'Keefe (Fall Out Boy,
Hawthorne Heights, Plain White T's) to produce Just Say Yes. Woolford produced the
more rock songs on the record while O'Keefe handled what the band calls the more
eclectic songs. O’Keefe’s excitement about Punchline’s new direction reaffirmed the
band’s belief that this path was worth further exploring. They started their own label,
Modern Short Stories, to release Just Say Yes. "This album is better in every aspect
and I credit that to it being on our own terms."

"I believe that every song is a short story that varies in how well it is told," he remarks.
“Just Say Yes is a story with a matching soundtrack.” The diverse brushstrokes on this
album feature some sharp pop leanings that will initially throw longtime fans for a loop.
With guest vocals from producer Jamie Woolford, "Somewhere in the Dark" is the result
of a one-night stand between Ben Folds and Fountains of Wayne; meanwhile, the
shamelessly-titled "The Hit" rocks as hard as anything the band has ever done. "Maybe
I'm Wrong" is "gaining the power to bring things back from your dreams, like a pine cone
or a person" explains Soboslai. The laid-back tempo of the song helps paint a vivid
soundscape. From the O'Keefe-produced songs, the album closer, "Castaway," is an
ethereal ballad eloquently described as "the best Punchline song ever written."

With the release of Punchline's fourth full-length album, Just Say Yes, the vocalist
states, "This is what we were meant to do. After being together for ten years, we’ve
finally conquered the struggle between man and guitar. It feels exactly as it should – just
perfect.” Just Say Yes is full of surprises that reveal Punchline's venture down a new
path. They've lost none of the pop-punk appeal their fans love but have gained a
renewed sense of direction, refined their songwriting, and have put out easily the most
eclectic and creative album of their career.
At the end of the day, the past, present, and future of Punchline is certainly a story that
needs to be told.