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Punchline - Superfly

by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 01 October 2012, 4:00 PM

What happens when a trio of German rather veteran Metalheads meets to start a new band? Well usually a new Metal band comes out of it. However, I think that this particular trio didn't follow the common notion I just mentioned in the previous sentence. This trio, which goes by the name of PUNCHLINE, consists of Jörg Juraschek (Vocals / Bass), one of the lasting members of the Power / Speed Metal fame of WARRANT, which recently made a comeback but still without a new album, Thomas Franke (Drums) that in the past entangled with Juraschek in WARRANT for a short period but was more famous for being the drummer of U.D.O.. Last but not least is the band's completing chip, Matthias Zimmer (Guitar) that is the co-founder / singer / guitarist for the Power / Thrash Metal band PERZONAL WAR (On a personal note, one of my favorite Metal musicians of the modern age). Essentially, PUNCHLINE is rather far from what you can recognize as Metal music. Listening to PUNCHLINE will send you back to the early to mid-90s, when Grunge / Punk Rock and Modern Rock conquered wide territories worldwide with bands such as NIRVANA, GREEN DAY, FOO FIGTHERS and the German answer to the invasion in the likes of DIE TOTEN HOSEN. In general, a Metalhead would probably dislike PUNCHLINE's material as it is a part of Rock music that lowered Metal's popularity and early strong stance. However, I believe that one should keep an open mind as it is still Rock music after all.

"Superfly", the band's debut album, released via Pure Rock Records, is more or less what anyone would expect from this kind of album. Other than being musically developed or producing something creative, PUNCHLINE is as straightforward and common as the bands that made this genre of Rock what it is. Though it can be proclaimed as dead musical direction in the present, it still managed to reach higher levels of popularity in the past. I assume that it was due to the material's easiness, accessibility, catchiness and clearly more loosen, even from Glam Metal or 80s Hard Rock because those actually have guitar solos attached and Alternative Rockers didn't seem to appreciate the supremacy of melodies and peak moments. Therefore, PUNCHLINE's music is just as I described. The songs seemed easy to performed with basic groovy riffs and palm muted frenzies, rhythm section rather generic and rudimentary, which would seem like a waste for a Metal drummer and bass player, but it is a matter of perception after all, and a fine vocal line that at least sounded better than the usual flat and boring singing of the genre and with a German accent that didn't bother.

The large sum of the tracks sounded pretty identical to me, song structures regular with several hints of a German influence as general feel of the compositions is purely American. Everything is simple and to the point with an emphasis on a powerful chorus. The produced fitted the album very much with that GREEN DAY vibe of "Dookie", yet the generated snare sound was closer to a trash can than an actually puffy snare, yet at least it wasn't closer to the hideous "St. Anger" trend of METALLICA, because there was nothing crappier than that. "I'm Running", "Fly Away" and I can also add "Superfly" and "Mad Monday", drew me more than the other tracks on the list, which were nice but since they followed the same pattern over and over, they didn't stick around for me to like them. PUNCHLINE distributes great energies with their youthful music and I again I will say that I was amazed that I was listening to three veteran Metalheads running the show. Alternative fans should have a taste of this one but I wouldn't deny it to Metalheads as well.

3 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Superfly
3. Get Lost
4. Killing Me
5. I’m Running
6. Rack’n Ruin
7. Mad Monday
8. Can’t Rely On It
9. Speak To Me
10. Fly Away
11. Never Give Up
12. Would 
Jörg Juraschek – Vocals, Bass
Matthias Zimmer – Guitar
Thomas Franke - Drums
Record Label: Pure Rock Records


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