April 30, 2013 - Fearless
Call them popcore, easycore, melodic metalcore or whatever sub-subgenre you feel like inventing yourself. (Try it; it just might catch on.) Whatever descriptor you choose for French quintet Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, we should agree they’ve taken a great leap forward on their sophomore album. They weren’t exactly shrinking violets on 2010’s Something For Nothing, but the follow-up fairly explodes with a confidence missing from that outing. Part of that may be due to vocalist Bertrand Poncet’s notably improved English, but it’s also apparent in the songs themselves. Each track is built around a boyish, well-scrubbed chorus any mother (or any A Day To Remember fan) could love, but those candy-sweet moments are coated in dense, constantly-shifting arrangements. Producer Joey Sturgis rotates expected elements—blast beats, livewire riffing and the obligatory death growls—as well as lighter touches, like the lo-fi drum loop that opens “Taking Chances” and the keyboard coda of “Miles And Decibels,” creating a mix that demands constant attention. It’s an exhilarating stop-start ride, but it’s also worth noting that the most straightforward and subdued song—the yearning “So Close And Yet So Far”—might be C!NCC!’s best yet.