5 Songs, 17 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Pittsburgh quartet Punchline never seems to be short on the piercing power-pop hooks that make its songs catchier than a fishing net. The EP So Nice to Meet You opens with pedaling rhythms; it somewhat recalls the 1980 Buggles hit “Video Killed the Radio Star” as Steve Soboslai's distorted vocals seem to be piped in from a vintage speakerphone. But it’s the soaring chorus (overflowing with amorous lyrics and vacuum-sealed harmonies) that makes this tune work. Without succumbing to protracted adolescence, there’s a youthful spirit emanating from “Everything I Wanted”—save for the list of namechecked bands, which could only come from someone who came of age in the '90s. The chorus even recalls Weezer with overdriven Moog, handclap percussion, and some flirty vocal “oohs.” The band closes with a spot-on cover of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Pittsburgh quartet Punchline never seems to be short on the piercing power-pop hooks that make its songs catchier than a fishing net. The EP So Nice to Meet You opens with pedaling rhythms; it somewhat recalls the 1980 Buggles hit “Video Killed the Radio Star” as Steve Soboslai's distorted vocals seem to be piped in from a vintage speakerphone. But it’s the soaring chorus (overflowing with amorous lyrics and vacuum-sealed harmonies) that makes this tune work. Without succumbing to protracted adolescence, there’s a youthful spirit emanating from “Everything I Wanted”—save for the list of namechecked bands, which could only come from someone who came of age in the '90s. The chorus even recalls Weezer with overdriven Moog, handclap percussion, and some flirty vocal “oohs.” The band closes with a spot-on cover of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me.”

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