DC4 - ‘Electric Ministry’

 


THE BAND:
Jeff Duncan - lead vocals, guitars
Rowan Robertson - guitars
Shawn Duncan - drums
Matt Duncan - bass, backing vocals

additional musicians:
Dizzy Reed - keyboards on “The Ballad Of Rock & Roll” & “Dirty Hands”
Juliette Primrose - violins on “The Ballad Of Rock & Roll”
Erin Duncan - background vocals on “The Ballad & Roll”
Gonzo Sandoval - percussion on “Dirty Hands”, “Broken Soul” and “Translucent Life”
XXX Girls: Sarah Villasenor & Ashley Navarra
Dizzy Reed - string arrangement for “The Ballad of Rock & Roll”
Jeff Duncan - vocal arrangement for “The Ballad Of Rock & Roll”


TRACK FRAGMENTS:
1.) “Wrecktory” - Instrumental
2.) “Electric Ministry” - This track opens with a huge pick slide over the top of a tom-tom pattern.  For the main musical intro, the rhythm guitar plays the same riff as the tom-tom pattern. For the musical verse, Shawn switches his drum line from a tom-tom rhythm to a standard hi-hat rhythm.  It is at this point a second guitar and bass line kicks-in.  While the main rhythm guitar riff stays the same as the one the band used for the musical intro.  There is a small drum fill signaling the musical change of the musical verse leading into the first lyric line.  There is a rhythm change for the musical chorus.  Lyrically the chorus is butt right up against the verse if it was not for the musical change you probably would not even notice.  When it comes time to sing the title the music rhythm plays only the syllables with rests in between.  Over the top of the musical arrangement, connecting the first chorus with the second verse is backing vocals.  On the chorus when Jeff sings brothers/sisters there is a small echo.  After the second chorus, there is a rhythm arrangement change.  This rhythm arrangement change is for the lead guitar solo.  The lead guitar solo for this track was huge!!! With that being said, when Bill Metoyer engineered the song the backing music was not turned down.  So it over shadows it quite a bit.  As the coda progresses it slowly speeds up.
3.) “XXX” - The more I listen to this song the quicker it is becoming one of my all-time have favorite songs!  5 out of 5 musicians recommend it’s content!!  
4.) “Rock God” - The intro to this track opens with a lyric line of the title.  The musical intro had a late eighties early nineties Megadeth feel to it.  There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical pre-verse.  For the pre-verse drum line, Shawn switches from a standard hi-hat rhythm to a tom-tom rhythm.  The main instrumentation for the musical pre-verse was the bass/drum line.  The only guitar rhythm through the musical pre-verse is either an eighth note or a sixteenth note the end of each measure.  For the musical verse there is a rhythm guitar change.  Also at this point, a second guitar kicks-in playing a separate riff that was done with palm muting effects.  There is a rhythm change for the musical chorus.  After the second chorus there is a crowd effect giving the song a live sound.  The lead guitar solo for this track was amazing!!!!  The solo leads into a breakdown section.  This breakdown section consisted of  one rhythm guitar playing a clean electric picking riff and the other a distorted riff.  The lyric lines for this breakdown are stereo split.   
5.) “25 To Life” - Though labeled as track 10 it actually is track 5.  This was just an amazing song!!!!!
6.) “Broken Soul” - This track opens with a very simple riff.  The vocal line kicks-in on the third riff.  On the fifth lyric line a second rhythm guitar kicks-in underneath the first.  This second rhythm guitar is a clean electric guitar riff with an echo.  The song does not actually kick-in until the chorus.  Jeff screams, “call of the wild”, there is a huge drum fill and the chorus kicks-in.  There are two separate rhythm guitar arrangements for the musical chorus.  Though Matt’s bass line is very simple, in many ways it makes the second verse.  The way the band wrote the musical arrangements for the second verse gives the song an amazing sound!  This is an all around amazing track that exploits all the band members talents!!!   
7.) “People” - I’m just speechless!!!!!
8.) “The Ballad Of Rock & Roll” -This intro consisted of a very simple rhythm guitar riff.  There is a backing vocal to lead into the opening lyric line.  All the way through the verse the backing harmony continues underneath the lead vocal lines.  As Jeff sings the title the guys kicks-in the song.  The second verse consisted an acoustic guitar arrangement along with a pipe organ.  The pipe organ added a nice effect to the song.  The way the second verse was arranged highlights Jeff’s vocal talent. After the second chorus there are two different rhythm guitar arrangements leading into the lead guitar solo.  So far this is the first song on the CD that features both Jeff & Rowan a playing lead guitar solo.  
9.) “Glitter Girl” - The intro to this track was fairly simple.  The same rhythm for the verse was also used for the intro.  The band also used the same rhythm for the chorus.  After the second chorus there is a small breakdown section.  The lead guitar solo for this track is probably the most intense solo on the CD.  The way the guys arranged the backing vocals is pays homage to early eighties hard rock.    
10.) “Sociopath” - Though labeled as track 5 it is actually track 10 on the release.  This intro opens with as basic heavy metal intro arrangement.  Not only does the rhythm guitar arrangement of the verse change however, Shawn switches from a standard hi-hat rhythm to a rhythm played on his tom-toms.  Jeff used some type of vocal effect on this track giving his vocals an almost computerized sound.  The musical change of the chorus sounded like the CD was skipping.  From beginning to end outside of the skipping effect this track was fairly straightforward.   
11.) “Dirty Hands” - Just an amazing ballad!!!!!
12.) “Translucent Life” - This intro opens with Gonzo Sandoval (Armored Saint) on percussion.  There is a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the intro arrangement.  This minor lead guitar solo had a Middle Eastern sound and feel to it.  About eight seconds into the intro and there is what sounds to be the sound of someone plugging their guitar into an amp.  This feedback sound continues through the entire intro.  The song does not kick-in until the musical verse.  The rhythm guitar riff of the verse had a very simple feel to it. There is a slowdown in the bpm (beats per minute) with music arrangement connecting the verse with the chorus.  The minor lead guitar solo of the intro is also used to connect the first chorus with the second verse.  There is no lead guitar solo for this track.  The coda consisted of Gonzo Sandoval just like the intro.



     At Blast Magazine there is a reason, we do not give CD’s a rating.  The reason is due to the fact we have listened to a lot of CD’s over the years where one song may make the entire release worthwhile.  CDs such as these are almost impossible to rate accurately.  With that being said DC4’s - ‘Electric Ministry’ will be the first.  If the scale was from 0-100 with 0 being the worse and 100 being the best then giving this a 100/100 would be an insult to the band.  Five months left in 2011 and this could be heavy metal release of the year!!!!  BUY BUY BUY!!!!!