With a hunger to follow up their 2015 album, Get Lost, Find Yourself, as soon as possible Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! sat down to write in 2016, but something just wasn’t right. Deciding to take a step back, the band kept themselves busy with other projects until the pandemic afforded them an opportunity to circle back to those original ideas. Ideas swiftly turned into songs, songs into an EP, an EP into an album, and here we are, a day away from the release of Gone Are The Good Days.
This new addition isn’t too left-field from the rest of their discography. Chunk! have long been household names in the easycore scene, known for combining exuberant pop punk with post-hardcore screams and riffs often bordering on metalcore, and that effervescent energy bubbles to the surface from the opening notes of the first track here. Previously released as a single, ‘Bitter’ may mirror every other Chunk! tune, but like a house of mirrors, the reflection isn’t quite exact.
On this track, there’s a richer texture, attributed to the additional keys, and more of an alternative rock quality reminiscent of Taking Back Sunday’s Tidal Wave album. This all results in Chunk! But like a 2.0 version. And these extra little elements all create moments of great substance and joy. On ‘Drift Away’, as another example, there’s something medieval-sounding that I don’t possibly have the ear to decipher, but you don’t have to know to agree that it sounds awesome.
Then, of course, there’s also the sax solo on ‘Complete You’, which adds a big palm-tree-Hawaiian-shirt-pink-sunglasses retro vibe to what is already a big track, especially with Dangerous Summer’s AJ Perdomo on guest vocals.
“I think sax is one of the most beautiful instruments in the world,” guitarist Paul Cordebard says. “It’s always something I’ve wanted to do in Chunk, but we’ve never had the chance to do it. When I heard that song, I felt it was the right song — it had a special vibe.” That it does, which also makes this our standout track.
But it’s not uncontested. Along with ‘Bitter’ and the title track, songs like ‘True Colours’ – a welcome reminder of That’s The Spirit-era BMTH – final track, ‘Fin’, and Chunk’s first ever love song, ‘Marigold’ are all strong contenders for fan favourites.
Their nonchalant approach to song structure (forget the verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus formula) might inspire a bit of an uncanny valley in some listeners, but for the most part, it shakes things up and creates an absorbing listen-through. Definitely worth the wait, Gone Are The Good Days is an album bursting with ambition and dimension.