Review Summary: French happy-hardcore quintet provide a great debut, but succumb to quite a few beginner faults.
What is the best way to describe ‘Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!’ ? Imagine if A Day To Remember had a child with Four Year Strong and then the child subsequently got molested in a gangbang by Attack Attack!, The Wonder Years and Set Your Goals… or something to that effect. This happy-hardcore quintet hails from Paris, France, and it certainly shows in vocalist Bertrand Poncet’s voice and lyrics. He sings with passion, and can ‘fry scream’ well considering his pretty young age. This is not without faults, however, as his accent has the ability to make you cringe and say to yourself ‘What in god’s name is he saying?’ which is a pretty solid reason why this band is not for everyone.
The lyrics, put simply, are stupid. ‘Hey dudes are you ready to understand why some of your friends are true. These ones that would follow you anywhere and through anything you’d do.’ Is just one of the lines from the album that makes you wonder if a 5 year old wrote all of the band’s material. But it shouldn’t bother you too much, as Bertrand can make the stupidest lyrics sound pretty great when sung, if you can stand his voice.
C!NCC! ‘s guitarists are Paul Wilson, and Bertrand’s brother Eric. They are in no way amazing, but they do provide some great riffs every once in a while, and they have a magnificent tone to their guitars that blends together perfectly their concoction of pop-hardcore delight. Sadly, they succumb to generic breakdowns now and then, but at least they’re all not played on the first 3 frets. These breakdowns actually have melody!
Mathias Rigal, the bassist, does very little to stand out, he does breakaway from mindlessly following the guitars, but this happens very little. He has a nice little section to himself in ‘In Friends We Trust’ that last a couple of seconds, but it sounds like he knows what he’s doing. Jonathan Donnaës fulfills his job well, throwing in some nice fills here and there, as well as having some fun with the double pedals at least once or twice a song. Again, sadly, nothing technical comes from his wood (bad pun intended) as it he just works to provide a solid backbone for every song.
The production of the overall album is great and I have been listening to this album on repeat since I have downloaded it. I understand that they have signed on to Fearless Records, and have re-released basically the exact same album, minus one song, but there is virtually no difference, or at least none that I can tell. The one fault that keeps this from being one of my all-time favorite albums, is the synth. I mentioned earlier, that the C!NCC! was similar to Attack Attack! mainly because of the synth ‘breakdown’ at around the 3 minute mark in Sink or Swim (S.O.S.) and, to be honest, hardcore and synth is really hard to mix together and sound well, and the band doesn’t pull it off all too well.
In closing, if you are a fan of catchy pop-punk with a tinge of hardcore, you should definitely check this out. If not, listen to album closer XoXo as it basically sums up the feel of the entire album, and is worth at least one listen.