By Clinton Dick
Take a group of young adults from Paris and songs about friendship, mix in a little pop punk and you have Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! The band released their debut album “Something For Nothing” July 19 this year, putting a spin on the hardcore and softcore worlds of punk music.
“Something For Nothing” was originally released in France before the tracks were re-mixed for the American version. Between the two albums, there were not an enormous amount of changes except for two tracks on the original album, “MILF” and “Alex Kidd In Miracle World,” that were not included in the re-release.
The band is comprised of Bertrand Poncet on leading vocals, Paul Wilson on guitar and backup vocals, Eric Poncet on guitar, Mathias Rigal on bass and Jonathan Donnaes on drums.
Poncet lets the listener know from the first track, “Born for Adversity,” his screaming talent. The audio slowly builds up until Poncet comes in with a low, loud shout “there’s no party now!” Thus begins a hardcore beat down by the guitars and drums that get the listener into a head banging mood. “Born for Adversity” is Chunk! No, Captain Chunk’s! most hardcore song and they strategically use it as the first track on the album, as well as the first song played live, to get the crowd fired up.
“In Friends We Trust” is the second track and arguably the band’s most well known song. It is their only song that they have made a music video for and is by far their catchiest song. The bouncy guitar rhythm at the beginning is what catches the listener and makes them want to hear more. Like several songs on this album, “In Friends We Trust” is about staying true to your friends and they will never fail you. It is a rather interesting subject to sing about for a punk band.
The energy picks back up with the next three tracks, “Captain Blood,” “Positiv-O” and “Time’s Up!” “Captain Blood” brings back Poncet’s screams as opposed to his normal singing voice, which is higher pitched and nasally. The song also introduces background vocals, something that the band uses in other tracks later in the album. The background vocals sound very much like battle cries, which fits the pirate theme of the song.
“Positiv-O” also adds a new element in the synthesizer. The beginning of the song starts out with the synthesizer going, giving the song a futuristic and robotic feeling. “Time’s Up!” is very similar to “In Friends We Trust” with the catchy guitar parts.
“Sink Or Swim” takes everything that Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! has done thus far in the album and slams it into one four minute long song. The sound of the hardcore guitars and the synthesizer together meshed with plenty of background shouts make for an extremely catchy and head banging song. This is also another track that talks about friendship.
From there on out, the album picks up and then cools down song by song. “We Fell Fast” is much like “Born for Adversity” with a lot of screaming and a lot of hardcore guitar and drum segments. “Summer Heat” slows down a little bit an sets the mood for a warm, sunny day on the beach.
“For All We Know” is the second to last track and is the one song on the album that the listener has to listen all the way through to get the full impact. It stands out from the other songs because it begins with just Poncet’s voice and a acoustic guitar. Towards the end of the song, the drums and electric guitar come in to pick things up and end with a bang. Friendship is the theme once again as the chorus shouts, “Hey dude, I need to know what you’re ready to do for anyone at anytime. And you can count on us for all the things you do, now all my guys stand in line.”
The final track, “XOXO,” starts almost exactly as the first track does, with audio building up until the guitar comes in with a catchy tune. Poncet doesn’t go out without letting everyone know why he is the lead singer. He immediately begins screaming with the tune and follows it up with a smooth singing voice for the chorus.
The only criticism I have for the album and the band in general is that the vocals are very hard to understand. Though Poncet and his crew are French, they sing their songs in English, but do not always pronounce words correctly. Several times I have had to look up the lyrics online, but that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying the sounds of what many are jokingly calling “friendcore.”
Clinton Dick is a junior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.