Review Summary: An absolute summer banger.
What an improvement. Whether or not you've already made up your mind about the French quintet Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! their latest offering Get Lost, Find Yourself
demands you roll down car windows, chant-along and crank the volume up to max. The band that brought you the painfully mediocre –and at times, laughable– debut album Something for Nothing
now lies dormant, instead letting a reinvigorated group take the reins and deliver the album the band was poised to release all along. Because Chunk's third outing is indeed a summer banger full of feverishly catchy hooks and hardcore-tinged riffs that grabs you by the ears and refuses to let go. It takes all of the best elements hinted at in 2013's Pardon My French
and strips away the Sturgis-stigma of overproduced vocals, monotonous guitar tones and other idiosyncrasies (you won't find a song that opens with "Go f*ck yourself") and instead swaps them out for something far more enjoyable. If you have a soft spot for some heavy pop-punk and in need of early summer anthems, then look no further than this.
In case the lead single and album opener "Playing Dead" wasn't indicative enough of the band's progression, then rest assure that the other tracks are. While the aforementioned song is a classic Chunk! tune through and through, with its unstoppable chorus, infectious riffs and pit-provoking breakdown, it's by no means the cream of the crop – it's in the little nuances and the accentuated pop-influences where the band truly outdoes themselves. Let it be said, front man Bert Poncet has never sounded this good throughout the band's eight year-long career, keeping his guttural growls down to a minimum while letting his much improved singing take center-stage, resulting in some of the most gargantuan hooks the band has ever penned (“Set It Straight", "Worst Case Scenario"). Elsewhere, the guitar work of Eric Poncet and Paul Wilson soars to unexpected heights and actually favors delicately written riffs over been-there-done-that metalcore chugs; evidenced beautifully in the Yellowcard-esque "The Other Line" and the somber "What Goes Around".
Elsewhere, tried-and true elements of the band's sound rear their head and sound better than ever. "Twist the Knife" is a frenzied pop-punk/hardcore explosion that ranks among the band's finest work, and is actually one of the only songs on the album (!) to feature a breakdown, a moment that manages to pack one hell of a wallop given how emphasized the pop-punk elements are throughout the album. Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! have clearly figured out how to write summer-primed pop anthems and their decision to shun most of the heaviness has paid off in spades. Still, those less keen on palate cleansers will still enjoy the few instances of growling and chug-a-ton that pop up irregularly over the course of the album, but these moments work best when they complement the poppier elements rather than existing in place of them. One critique that could easily be leveled against the album is that the lyrical content –while still a massive improvement over Pardon My French
– still takes far too many cues from the pop-punk rulebook. Yes, there are songs about living life to the fullest ("Playing Dead"), reminiscing the past ("Set It Straight"), fighting back negativity ("Pull You Under") and (duh!) finding oneself ("Get Lost, Find Yourself") and although this lack of creativity doesn't detract from the fun factor, it also keeps some of the tracks firmly in the realm of being 'great' when they could've been greater.
The term "easycore" seems to be coming back in a big way. The beardy punks in Four Year Strong has re-emerged at full capacity, A Day To Remember's rise to super stardom is showing no signs of slowing down and the young welshers in Neck Deep (whose music includes some traits of the genre) practically became a pop-punk powerhouse overnight. Get Lost, Find Yourself
is by no means a turning point for the genre, but it's a brilliant example of how how damn fun this style of music can be. Whereas most modern pop-punk bands shoot for emotional resonance and lyrical prowess, bands like Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! exist for the sole purpose of banging your head off.
And honestly, we need both.
City of Light
Set It Straight
Twist The Knife
Worst Case Scenario