Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!
It's clear from that basic introduction that Chunk! No, Captain Chunk are looking to shake things up a little, infusing some levity into the pop-punk and post-hardcore scenes with a good time, party vibe. Some bands hit the scene, looking to be dangerous and living by a cliched credo of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. C!NCC aren't going that route. Instead, they're here for a good time, all of the time and they aren't afraid to be silly. As a result, they've created a different kind of party rock.
Music is supposed to be fun, and C!NCC, who formed in 2007, have wholly embraced that ethos and aesthetic. Even their name is an homage to the wonder of their childhoods and that time in your life when everything was easy and fun, even if you weren't cognizant of that fact at the time.
The musically bipolar C!NCC love nothing more than hopping in their van, cruising all over the U.S., drinking, getting naked and rocking the hell out, winning over fans in every city in which they play. But when it comes time to take the stage, they are in the zone. It's a potent combo, one that is sure to lure even more new fans to their lair as they unleash their second effort, the game changing Pardon My French, the new album which they announced via a video clip, wearing white hotel robes while sipping wine.
If you don't have a laugh at their antics --or worse!!- don't find your head involuntarily bobbing along to the potent melodies or feel a rush of pure adrenaline coursing through your veins, thanks to their sonic punch and their moshable aggression, then you, dear friend, don't have a pulse!
Chunk! No Captain Chunk's music vacillates between two different extremes, folding high octane, crazy catchy pop punk melodies into pummeling and potent hardcore. It's popcore (or easycore, as the critics like to say) at its finest.
The band has followed up its debut, 2010's Something for Nothing, with Pardon My French, the title of which finds their tongues tucked firmly into cheek. After spending all of 2011 and 2012 on tour, stagebombing the U.S. and commandeering a slot on the entire 2012 Vans Warped Tour, an honor reserved for a select set of bands, and hitting the road with A Day to Remember, C!NCC are ready to take it to the next level.
Singer Bertrand Poncet admits that the band's music is a roller coaster of dynamics, and that it satisfies their personal tastes. Dropping crushing metallic moments in the midst of a flurry of melodics only serves to show just how heavy and how melodic the band can be. The sonic twists and turns invite the listener to ride sidecar for one helluva thrill ride.
"We all liked pop punk bands, and our musical tastes changed with the times, and after one year of playing, we turned a bit more metal," he said. "We wanted to mix all of our influences in one band. The roller coaster vibe is us and that represents all of our personalities in the band. We are not bipolar people, but we can turn completely crazy. We want to create that in our music."
The band's intent was to get poppier and heavier in one fell swoop. That mission was accomplished on Pardon My French.
"When it comes to writing songs, we wanted to take the poppiest choruses, which have groove, but then we added a huge, nasty breakdown after it. It's very contrasted, but it has to fit." Indeed, the songs don't scrimp on the dynamics, and on Pardon My French, they are smooth and seamless.
Poncet acknowledged the party, Blink-182-like vibe the band puts forth, saying, "It has been our trademark since the beginning, the pop punk side of the music. The fact is, we can go very heavy, but we're not serious. We're here to have fun."
However, when it came time to lay down this new record, the band switched gears for a minute. "We took the songwriting and recording very seriously. We wanted to do that perfectly," the singer said. "We focused on the details to make it perfect, and that process was interesting for me, since it was my first time in a real studio."
The last record was recorded in a bedroom, so Pardon My French was a step up on many levels for C!NCC as a whole. They spent time in a legit studio, captured the attention of an American label in indie juggernaut Fearless Records and they wanted to get it right.
Poncet, who comes from a classical piano background, wasn't kidding about focusing on key details. He was tireless in his efforts to perfect his pronunciation this time out, since he didn't want his accent to the be the only thing listeners heard. "I wanted to sound very...international on this record, " he said. Since English is his second language, he put in the time and effort to make his words decipherable.
Songs like "Restart" and "Haters Gonna Hate" are emblematic of what C!NCC are doing with their unique brand of pop-punk with moshability. "Restart" opens the record with a purpose; it's the "get it out of the way" song that is designed to let you know the band means business and where they stand. "We wanted to go straight up and show the direction of the band and the song defines the new direction for this album," Poncet said. "There's no hidden story in it. It's about the new sound, and showcasing that."
"Haters Gonna Hate" was drafted to address the keyboard ninjas that populate the scene, hiding behind a WiFi connection and an anonymous AIM handle. "It's just catchier and heavier," Poncet said. "It's contrasted and the lyrics are about...haters! Every band deals with haters for this style of music." Speaking of their particular experience, Poncet admitted, "When we started, we were one of the first French bands to get signed to an American label, we had broken English. It was hard to make our way in the States, so we got some haters. This song is about all those people who just talk shit and don't even listen to the music. They just want to hate on something."
"Taking Chances" was the final piece of the puzzle, as it was the last song Poncet penned. "The lyrics are about taking the chance for our band to break in America," he said. The song mixes the djent style with an assertive pop punk rhythm and differs from much of what's on the album. Then there's "I Am Nothing Like You," which is the heaviest track on the record -- it gets the red out.
Armed with a solid, thriller of a record in the form of Pardon My French and a well-earned reputation for shaking the rafters at the venues in which they play, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk are able to spread their lively energy to all who listen.
You may as well get on board this runaway train now before you get run over! There's good times ahead, courtesy of Chunk! No, Captain Chunk.
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