DC4 is Jeff Duncan (lead vocals, guitar) Rowan Robertson (guitar), Matt Duncan (bass), and Shawn Duncan (drums). Robertson joined the band in 2009 and immediately felt right at home.
Some people may see working with siblings as somewhat intimidating; however, this was never an issue as the guys seem like one big happy family. As a matter of fact, when Rowan was asked how it felt being a Duncan brother he exclaimed, “Haha! It feels great! You all ought to give it a go and join the Duncan Clan!” But what about sibling rivalry? Even as adults, this is a common occurrence in many families. But again, this theory is shot down as well. As Shawn explains, “... we all have our parts to play. Jeff is the primary songwriter, Matt is our moral compass, and I generally deal with the business side of things and social media. However, Rowan does refer to me as “Papa Bear”...” No room for petty bickering with this family! With everyone playing a role, all these four really care about is everything coming together as it should and having a great time doing it.
Even though they are still active in other bands DC4 is still top priority. “We work hard at promoting DC4,” says Jeff, “It is where all of us are happiest. Not that we aren’t happy in the other projects we do, but this is ‘OURS’.” Shawn and Jeff formed the band Odin when they were in junior high school, so Shawn considers DC4 “… basically what Odin morphed into… really just us grown up a bit…” Odin was formed in the early 1980s, around the same time iconic acts such as Mötley Crüe, Metallica, and Anthrax (just to name a few) had achieved mainstream popularity. These bands, along with many others from the 1970s and 1980s seem to be re-emerging with new albums and tours. Shawn feels, “The return to those eras of music is in large part due to the fact that there has been very little exposure for newer bands. Corporate radio and MTV have basically closed the door on new music (MTV closed its door to music period).” “…Another reason the 70’s and 80’s is popular right now is because the bands wrote real songs.” adds Jeff, “I think the message should be to learn how to write real songs and be yourself.” Two very good points from these stage veterans.
The guys are planning on playing a few shows in October then are scheduled to record a new album in November. Jeff is hopeful to play some shows toward the end of 2016; that is if nothing comes up with any of their other projects. While currently on tour with Bulletboys, Shawn keeps fans up to date on social media. He feels social media is a fantastic tool for bands in order to connect with new fans and long lost friends. Jeff appreciates the fact that social media is a way for them to stay close to their fans. You may connect with DC4 by clicking on any of the following links. Be sure to read our music reviews, and visit http://dc4store.bigcartel.com/ to be directed to DC4's web store. Follow the band on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on DC4 news and, more importantly, to make a connection with four awesome people.
I was also very pleased to see an 8:31 song included. Is anybody at all surprised it is my favorite track on the album? I didn’t think so! We’ll jump right over to “Broken Soul” (song 6) and talk about why it is my favorite. Surprisingly, its length had little to do with why it is my favorite; that was just an added bonus in this case. Jeff is an awesome vocalist, and proves just how much so on this track. He begins singing in a very smooth low pitch, almost (but not quite) a cappella, with just a guitar strumming a few notes at a time then lead guitar adding a few notes as the first verse progresses. As the song builds he screams, “Call of the wiiiiiiild!” which cues the rest of the band. Leaning heavily toward the doom metal side of the genre, it is a haunting tale of bad love choices. There are two amazing guitar solos and the last 2:33 is solely instrumental. To show how much I love this track, I have a few playlists on my iPod and this song (along with “4196” from Volume One) is on every playlist I have. Quite an accomplishment.
The most popular tracks on the album seem to be the title track (song 2), “XXX” (song 3), and “Rock God” (song 4). Song two is a shout out to all us members of the United Church of Metalheads (yes, I invented that) who practice the “Electric Ministry”. We stand together for what we believe and we will not be broken. Amen. If that pisses you off then you’re not a true metalhead, but all is not lost. Listen to this song a few more times and you should be fine. “XXX” lives up to its name, all about the porn. It’s a hard (no pun intended, or was it?) rocking song from the get-go. Then about 2:15 into the song the music gets even faster and louder with Rowan’s solo, followed by a moaning female. After she’s done, the tempo slows back down to where it was at the beginning of the song. I have no idea if that was intentional or not, but seeing as how DC4 is all testosterone I wouldn’t doubt it. At the very end of the song “she” speaks briefly, and then it’s on to track 4. Who better to do a song about a “Rock God” than a band of rock gods? This is just a great track. Shawn’s drumming style makes this song what it is. I especially like when he and Matt are the only two playing on one part toward the end.
There are four harder songs left: “25 to Life” (song 5), “Sociopath” (song 10), “Glitter Girl” (song 9), and “People (song 10). They’re just all around great songs. I really like the way “People” starts out, and find myself often starting it again and again just to hear the guitars. It has a kick ass bass line throughout also, not to mention outstanding vocal harmonies. If “Broken Soul” were not on this album I would choose “People” as my top song of choice.
And then there were two: “The Ballad of Rock and Roll” (song 8) and “Dirty Hands” (song 11). Both of these are ballads, and are both about the same length with “The Ballad of Rock and Roll” being one second longer at 5:26. They’re really pretty songs and round out the album well. So much heart went into them and it is definitely felt. I have these on repeat frequently as well.
So there you have it! Another slam dunk by the Duncan Clan. You may purchase this album directly from the DC4 web store by clicking here http://dc4store.bigcartel.com/. Right now this album is available at a special price: Volume One, Explode, and Electric Ministry can be purchased together for $20 USD. For those who prefer digital, please visit any of the links below.
The album title is very fitting. Containing ten songs, Explode is definitely the band’s hardest release to date. The first song on the album is the title track and, in typical DC4 fashion, is killer. What a difference a new guitarist makes! Am I saying Church sucked? Absolutely not! However, many pale in comparison to Robertson. He’s extremely gifted and has been playing guitar since he was very young; he brings something to the table that others just aren’t able to. That’s what makes him who he is, and he certainly brings a more metal edge to DC4.
“Disturbed” (song 4) is a great display of his vocal range. One of my favorites on the album, which is surprising since it is also the shortest song at 3:36 (we all know how I enjoy the long songs). This song just packs that much of a punch so the length is irrelevant. The next song, “God Complex”, sends a powerful message. In this case you need to hear it for yourself and draw your own conclusions, but personally I can totally relate to what the guys are saying and have a few people in mind who I could dedicate this song to.
I’m going to skip down to the final track, “Hate Parade” (song 10). Another great one, it’s the closest to a ballad this album gets. The guitars and vocals are, of course, top notch. Matt and Shawn do a fantastic job of adding to the overall aura of the song’s buildup, which is one of the best on the album. “Long Hard Road to Lost” (song 9) is another personal favorite. Rowan’s riffs add something extra to the track, and Matt works the hell out of that bass. In listening to it, I got the impression this is a favored track by the band as well. I may be wrong about that; I am just going by the intensity with which everyone plays. We may as well get to my favorite song on the album. It was tough choosing a favorite, as every song stands out in one way or another.
My favorite track is “This Is What You Wanted” (song 8). I can’t even pinpoint a specific reason why this is my favorite; I just absolutely love everything about it. From the bass line to the vocals, this track is frequently on repeat. Yes, this album is “Anna’s iPod Approved” just like all the previous DC4 albums. Just to clarify something for all of you, an album doesn’t make it on my iPod just because I like the band. Albums must meet certain criteria to even be considered for my iPod, regardless of how great I think the band is. People would probably be very surprised to see who makes the cut.
Matt leads off on the track “Cabin Fever” (song 7). I love songs with a strong bass line, and this one doesn’t disappoint. This is just an all around great metal song, just like “Experiment” (song 3) and “Rock and Roll Disease” (song 6). The Duncan brothers are amazingly talented; with that much talent in one room it can be difficult to find that perfect fit to round out the band. I think the addition of Rowan to the lineup is one of the best choices DC4 could have ever made. Some may disagree, but the music speaks for itself and that is what matters.
You may purchase this album directly from the DC4 web store by clicking here http://dc4store.bigcartel.com/. Right now this album is available at a special price: Volume One, Explode, and Electric Ministry can be purchased together for $20 USD. For those of you who prefer digital, please visit any of the links below.
Amazon: 2007 Limited Edition http://www.amazon.com/Explode-Dc4/dp/B00116GIQM 2009 http://www.amazon.com/Explode-DC4/dp/B001Q8FRIU
Volume One contains eleven tracks, and is the final release that features Church on lead guitar. I will start with the last song “4196” because it stands out for a few reasons. The main one being it is an instrumental, the only one on the album. Personally, I have always appreciated a good instrumental and this one is absolutely beautiful. The only way I know to describe it is to say it is a ballad without words. As I listened to it for the first time I found myself serene, nostalgic, and heartbroken all at the same time. It is very rare a song can move me so much but this one did. Jeff and Matt knocked this one out of the park. Neither one of them could have played any better on this song. This is hands down my favorite track on the album, even outshining “Naïve Bree”.
“Playing House” starts the album off, and is a real ass kicker. Lyrically and musically it is the epitome of a good old fashioned metal song. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like Matt has really stepped it up. Not saying he was any less than great on the EP, it just seems his presence is felt more on this album. A prime example being song 4, “Eyes On You”. A heartfelt love song, Matt’s bass sings just as loudly as lead vocalist Jeff. The only other slower song, “Marianne” (song 6), is a love lost song as opposed to a love song. Shawn’s rat-a-tat-tat adds a little something extra to the first verse; while Hyland’s solo helps build a dramatic last 1:40 of the song.
The remaining six songs: “Jack and Jill” (song 2), “Freak Show” (song 3), “Pound of Flesh” (song 5), “Love or Misery” (song 8), “Blind” (song 9), and “.44” (song 10) are just as hard as “Playing House”. I like the fact that this album has less punk and alternative elements and is more metal. If Volume One is any indication of where the band is going, then I’m there! You may purchase this "Anna's iPod Approved" album directly from the DC4 web store by clicking here http://dc4store.bigcartel.com/. Right now this album is available at a special price; Volume One, Explode, and Electric Ministry can be purchased together for $20 USD. If you prefer digital music, you may purchase on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/volume-one/id496026234 or Amazon http://www.amazon.com/One-Dc4/dp/B0031DS58C.
My expectations are always high when it comes to super groups since they already know what to do and how to do it. So does DC4 make the grade? Let’s find out!
Containing five songs, the EP actually packs quite a punch. “I Belong” (song 1) and “Black Picket Fence” (song 4) are solid rock songs with clear punk influences. Both are upbeat with great guitar solos and drummer, Shawn, really showcases his talent on these two. Jeff nails it on the vocals, as his voice is the perfect pitch. “Pandora’s Cure” (song 5) leans more toward the alternative rock side and is an ideal choice for the final song. Upon its ending I was left wanting more (in a good way), which is something every band should hope to accomplish.
The longest song on the EP – we all know by now how much I enjoy the long ones – is song 3, entitled “Paper Dolls”. It is 5:46 and is the closest thing to a ballad on the EP. However, while it contains ballad-esque elements (including a screaming guitar solo), I am still unable to classify it as a full-fledged ballad for some reason. Jeff’s tone is yet again right on point; I especially like how he sings the lines: “… sour grapes grow on vines that suffocate; here in this garden, our season came too late… “. All around excellent song that I can safely say is one of my favorites, the other favorite being “Naïve Bree” (song 2).
Where do I even start with this one? If I were asked to name my top twenty favorite rock songs to come out after the year 1995 “Naïve Bree” would be one of them. It’s the classic story of a good girl who fell in with the wrong crowd while trying to find herself and DC4 tells it perfectly. While consistently giving great vocals throughout the entire EP, Jeff really shines on this song. He has amazing vocal range and displays some of that here very well. The backing vocals are just as significant as the lead in this particular song; without them I don’t feel it would have made as much of an impact.
So there you have it. DC4 has nailed it as far as first releases go. Is this EP “Anna’s iPod Approved”? Absolutely! I have no problem listening to every song on it repeatedly. You can get this EP for yourself at iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mood-swings-feat.-jeff-duncan/id488095076.