PINOCCHIO Punch (Hatav Hashmini) The Israeli rock scene has welcomed back the group Punch with their fourth album, Pinocchio. The quality rock band was formed in the mid-Eighties and has seen its core members change over the years. Vocalist Yossi Babliki, leader of the group, is the only original member left in the ensemble. The band's current line-up includes Babliki, Eli Shauli, Boaz Cohen, Dana Baker, Shimi Ben Lulu, Gil Fadida and Yair Yona. Pinocchio comprises 14 tracks, among them the first-rate single "Uf Al Kanfei Hadimyon" (Fly on the Wings of Imagination). The songs offer messages of protest and social commentary, as well as the simple themes of happiness and sorrow. The Hebrew texts are very lyrical and enjoy an eloquent style. Musically the album opens on a psychedelic rock note and continues in the pop-rock vein, offering nuggets along the way such as "Tsunami Tzioni" (Zionist Tsunami) and "Kama Zeh Yafeh She'anachnu Beyachad" (How Nice That We're Together). While all the players are first-class, Baker's compelling solos stand out. Unlike the character for who the album is named, Punch's "Pinocchio" doesn't lie when it comes to promising and delivering real rock 'n' roll. YUVAL ZEDERMAN (Hatav Hashmini) After four and a half years on the local concert circuit, rock musician Yuval Zederman is now promoting his self-titled debut album. Zederman, a Jerusalemite who recently moved to Tel Aviv in an attempt to "make it," offers 10 intellectual, honest tracks on his CD. The alum of the IDF's Pikud Merkaz wrote all the lyrics and composed all the songs on the album. Zederman's voice is inviting and stirring, and it's understandable why some critics say that at times he sounds like Ivri Lider did at the beginning of his career. Zederman's charisma carries the listener throughout the CD. Singles off the album include "Erev Shabat" (Sabbath Eve) and "Lo Lipol" (Don't Fall), though "Sameach Po Halayla" (Happy Here Tonight) is a stronger song lyrically and musically. In terms of texts, Zederman does not offer peppy play-list material. His themes are more cynical and despondent than most of the popular music out there today. Moreover, the 26-year-old's lyrics are well-written and profound. Zederman's music arrangements and production are top quality, with guitarist David Biton displaying some very good guitar solos. At the moment Zederman works part-time as a waiter in order to make a living. Rock fans should buy this album to help this talented musician focus on his music so as to improve the local rock scene's offerings.