A rock band from France making waves across the pond isn’t usually something which happens in the extremely US-centric pop punk scene. However, Parisian quintet Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! (shortened to Chunk) are making a change to that by way of their infectiously catchy pop punk. Fronted by the energetic vocalist Bertrand Poncet, Chunk are currently the hottest thing to come out of France since a sunburnt Brit, having just released their new record Get Lost, Find Yourself.
Album opener Playing Dead kicks off with a chugging metal riff which is far afield from any pop punk influences, although the recognizable power chord structures eventually make their grand entrance ahead of the first verse. Chunk’s style is an interesting one, with the band effortlessly mixing pop punk with metalcore in a genre which has been dubbed ‘easycore’. “One last time I’m screaming out loud” sings Poncet in the chorus before ‘playful’ sounding riffs intertwine. City of Light follows, bearing an extremely similair sound to the preceding track. Here, Poncet’s French accent comes through more than on any other song, instantly setting Chunk apart from the rest. You could argue that part of their appeal is his “different” accent (by pop punk standards), as well as the interesting mix of genres. “Forget who we are, go back to the start” claims Poncet later on, before The Other Line utilizes strummed power chords and growled vocals to make way for a catchy riff section. The Other Line is one of the best songs on the album, showcasing Chunk at their best with catchy vocals and mosh-worthy instrumentation. Although most pop punk is rather predictable, Chunk make this less obvious by chucking occasional flourishes of brutal metalcore into the mix. Set it Straight slows the pace, opting for a more anthemic approach with a chanted intro section, before Pull You Under presents itself as one of the heaviest tracks on the album. From the off, Poncet growls his way through the track as low-tuned drops intertwine with cliché-d clean vocals and dirty riffs. “They’ll never kick us down” proclaims Poncet during the chorus, with the song (briefly) stabilizing during the second verse. The instrumentation on Pull You Under is perhaps the best on the whole record, in particular Bastien Lafaye’s pounding drums and Éric Poncet’s lead guitar.
What Goes Around marks the halfway mark on the record with strummed chords and caterwauling drums pairing up during a slow-paced verse, morphing the song into a power ballad. “What goes around comes around” sings Poncet during the chorus, adding later, “what goes up must come down”. The lyrics aren’t entirely well thought-out, rather bordering on cliché. However, pop punk and cliché go hand in hand, something which makes everything considerably more acceptable. Worst Case Scenario’s opening acoustic guitars and whistled melody are quickly devoured by powerful guitars and a stadium-sized chant, with the sickly sweet chorus bordering on All Time Low territory. The Baltimore quartet’s influence is most evident on Worst Case Scenario, with pop-punk predecessors Blink 182 featuring heavily in and amongst Twist the Knife’s instrumentation. Lafaye’s drums are reminiscent of Travis Barker’s ‘faster-than-fast’ rhythms, with Poncet’s vocals akin to Tom DeLonge’s recognizable drawl. Penultimate track Get Lost, Find Yourself kicks off with the pre-recorded sound of a cassette tape being inserted into a cassette player, before a lone guitar line enters the frame. The rest of the title track sees an acoustic guitar accompany Poncet, who is subsequently wearing his heart on his sleeve proudly. Album closer Every Moment’s chugging riffs and double-bass drums play the album out on a powerful note, with the chorus screaming “WARPED TOUR, WARPED TOUR”. Not that that’s a bad thing, though.
On Get Lost, Find Yourself, Chunk have proven that they are definitely a band worth looking out for in the coming months as they slowly but surely start to cement their name as the most successful rock band to come out of France since, well, anyone. Get Lost, Find Yourself is an impressive record, and definitely one which will appeal to audiences on both sides of the pond.