Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should. Catch up on past installments here.
The tagline of Punchline’s website reads: “Punchline is a band from Pittsburgh, PA. For fans of Jimmy Eat World, hope, and cats.” As a native Pennsylvanian who is a fan of two of the three of those things, I am immediately sold. (For those of you who think I could ever not be a fan of Jimmy Eat World, I will just leave you with this.)
And then as part of my Wikipedia deep dive on the band and its members, I found this gem on lead singer Steve Soboslai’s page:
In 2011 Soboslai began doing solo performances as “Blue of Colors.” In his first performance he opened for Parachute and Plain White T’s at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania student union.
I was 100% at that show. I was of course wearing a plain white t-shirt–ironically, probably, but maybe not. During this trip down memory lane I didn’t immediately remember the opening, opening act, so I went to listen to the most popular songs on Spotify from the album released closest to that time to try to jog a memory. It’s possible I’m just in the “no way” of it all, but “Goodbye Stranger” sounded fairly familiar. Maybe a mirage. Maybe a memory. “Untie the knot, and I’ll untangle you.”
Just like I can’t conjure a specific memory of that 2011 performance, I can’t pinpoint the first time Punchline surfaced from under the radar for me, but with recent, relatable singles titles like “I Don’t Wanna Leave Yet,” “Can I Get A Break,” and “Find Yourself,” it was a fortuitous find. Since the moment of discovery I have played their Songs from ’94 cover EP many, many times. You will soon understand why.