*This review was composed by Brandon Allin and edited by Erik van Rheenen
With every success story comes a legion of copycats, a troupe of followers clinging to the heels of those paving the way before them. When sugary pop punk infused with hardcore undertones and blistering metalcore became a mainstay in the scene, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! reared their heads, seemingly begging for a piece of the pie.
Latched firmly to the coattails of their forefathers, the Paris, France-based five-piece released their debut full-length, Something For Nothing, in 2010 to mixed reviews. Many bastardized them for their complete lack of substance, while others sung along at the band’s breakneck pace without hesitation.
Fast forward three years later, and Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! has returned with Pardon My French, the aptly titled successor to their inaugural debut, and while they’ve hardly reinvented themselves on their second go, their bubblegum brand of melodic popcore has been tinkered with and fine-tuned in a few different ways.
On “Restart,” a bouncy cut littered with cheesy breakdowns, a marked improvement in vocalist Bert Poncet’s once insufferable delivery is immediately evident. The whiny, nasally pitch of years past has been scaled back, making the band’s formula far easier to swallow on the surface. “Taking Chances” is a straightforward pop-punk number that keeps the tough guy outbursts to a bare minimum, resulting unsurprisingly in one of the band’s best tracks to date.
“Haters Gonna Hate,” a track that’s every bit as excruciating as its title suggests, sounds eerily similar to the three previous songs, while the album’s title track” embarrasses itself in mere seconds with a gut-busting “Go fuck yourself.”