It is fair to say that many hard rock bands and releases are generally predictable, not necessarily bad, just that you know what you are going to get before a note is played and there is often no distinction from one band to another who are effectively and sometimes satisfyingly reproducing the same set sound of the genre. Unless a real fan of hard rock it can be off putting from checking out bands and their music, but it is bands like DC4 who make sure nothing should be taken for granted and shows that there is some strong and intriguing blood pumping through the heart of the genre.
The L.A. rockers show with new album Electric Ministry on Metal Blade Records that the time between their previous release Explode and this has not been a barren time ideas wise, Electric Ministry being a breeze of hard rock sounds infused with strong and vibrant metal riffs and tones. Consisting of the brothers Duncan, vocalist/guitarist Jeff (Armored Saint, Odin), Matt on bass, and drummer Shawn (Odin) plus Rowan Robertson (ex-Dio) on guitar, DC4 have produced an album that shows at its best why rock fuels the day for so many.
Electric Ministry begins on the short instrumental burst of melodic energy ‘Wrecktory’ setting up an edge for the title track to ride in upon. With driving hard riffs and a deep throbbing bassline ‘Electric Ministry’ delivers strong effective rock ‘ n’ roll, Jeff’s vocals punctuating the track purposely and strongly with his classic rock vocals. This is a good blend that features throughout the whole album, the classic and hard rock styling from his vocals and band harmonies as well as some delicious rock guitar play all combining with some direct and dark aggressive riffs that would not seem out of place on a Spineshank or Sick Puppies album.
Two of the best three tracks on the release are the sexed up wonderful ‘filth’ of ‘XXX’, a riot of aggressive loin fire that is as infectious as the subject matter for any respectable rock star is itself, and ‘Rock God’ with the best combination of body throbbing induced bass and drum rhythms heard this year, pounding behind some guitar and melodies that point to a Alice in Chains/ Stone Temple Pilot feel and touch. Matt’s bass is imperial and alone would make the song something special but everyone is at their pinnacle making the track irresistible. The third glorious track comes later in the shape of the dark, venomous ‘Sociopath’, again rippling with wickedly devious riffs and intensity. Though many of the tracks are right there supporting with great sounds and quality such as ’25 To Life’ and ‘People’ another great bass driven track , both having a good John Bush era Anthrax flavour to them, ‘Sociopath’ and the other duo of tracks take Electric Ministry to a much higher level.
One of the strong positives about Electric Ministry is its strength in bringing the hard rock and metal elements together to appeal to both set of fans. Possibly tracks like ‘The Ballad Of Rock And Roll’ and ‘Glitter Girl’ might not work for those not into the hard rock sound particularly but with eight other great tracks that surely will it is not an issue and with the great rock flavourings, vocals and guitar sounds on the heavier riff laden songs pleasing traditional rock fans this is a all win album for all.
Electric Ministry has the quality hand of Bill Metoyer guiding it and it is hard to imagine anyone anywhere that could have made it sound any better or have the understanding of what the band wants as well as him. Production is crisp allowing each member to excel and be heard in perfect tandem with each other. DC4 have shown that hard rock does not have to be a replica of what came before and mirror everyone else currently and with Electric Ministry given essential listening for many other rock favouring ears.