Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! – Pardon My French

chunk!

It’s not difficult to find reasons to hate Chunk! No Captain, Chunk!. Their bandname says it all, and their music is often just as frustrating. However, somehow the French “pop-core” band have actually managed to improve on their sophomore effort Pardon my French. Granted, I didn’t dislike their debut as much as some, but it certainly didn’t leave anything to be desired for their next release. So the mere fact that this time around they actually expanded their sound rather than treading the same familiar water is a welcome surprise. That’s not to say it’s anything spectacular (and I don‘t think anybody thought it would be), but the band are making slow progress as they take two steps forward, and one step back.

For every well executed idea on Pardon My French, there is also an anchor of sorts that seems to drag it down. It’s unfortunate because they’re obviously making some improvements but their past mistakes have returned to haunt them. The lyrics, while slightly better than their debut, are still pretty bad at times. The title track starts with an unnecessary cheesy line of “Go *** Yourself” before the been-done-before breakdowns and vocals begin. In fact, they drop F-bombs constantly throughout the album, only proving their lack of lyrical creativity, or maybe it’s just pure laziness.

One noticeable improvement, however, is heard in the punchy guitar-work which steals the show on songs like ‘Hater’s Gonna Hate’ which has a definite New Found Glory vibe. It may be a terrible song name, but it has one of the most soaring choruses on the entire album. It’s able to flow the way it does only due to the newfound confidence in the vocals. They sound much less grating this time around as Bertrand Poncet’s French accent is still apparent, but he doesn’t sound nearly as awkward as he did on their last album. In fact, he sounds better than ever on ‘Taking Chances’ which is easily the most enjoyable song of the band’s career so far with its bouncy guitars and healthy mix of clean and heavy vocals.

While Pardon My French is definitely better than I was expecting, it’s certainly not worth getting excited about. It’s one of those albums where I can see myself returning to a few of the standout tracks, but all in all it’s anchored down by obvious flaws. It’s kind of aggravating because their potential to improve is apparent, but they still haven’t figured out how to craft a consistently solid release. However, if their newest effort proves anything, it’s that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

2.7/5

Release Date: April 30, 2013

Tracklisting:

1 Restart
2 Taking Chances
3 Bipolar Mind
4 Haters Gonna Hate
5 The Progression of Regression
6 Pardon My French
7 Between Your Lines
8 I Am Nothing Like You
9 Reasons to Turn Back
10 So Close and Yet So Far
11 Miles and Decibels
12 The Best Is Yet to Come

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3 thoughts on “Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! – Pardon My French

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