F U L L . R E V I E W S



DC4
Explode

Company: Chavis Records
Release: 2009
Genre: Hard Rock
Reviewer: Vinaya

  • This is a solid effort



  • Armored Saint guitarist Jeff Duncan tries his hand at playing frontman in an energetic band of brothers which includes siblings Shawn (drums) and Matt (bass), plus adopted musical brother Rowan Robertson (ex-Dio) on second lead guitar. And while it's no Revelation (the Saint's awesome millenial studio "comeback"), Explode does just that, with simple, infectious blue-collar hard rock/metal of a uniquely American sort. The title track sets the pace nicely, demonstrating one of two sounds this album oscillates between, an insistent, groove-based, metalized form of rock n' roll that befits the album's hot rod-themed artwork (dig the nifty Duncan-Robertson Precision Tuning logo on the initial self-produced pressing!). When not pursuing this simple but effective formula, Explode meanders into an emotionally tense, moody musical no-man's land, inhabited by misbegotten but interesting tracks that somehow remind me of that depressing 90's rock sound that emerged in the wake of grunge (see the ponderous "This is What You Wanted" and the creepy "Long Hard Road to Lost"). "Cabin Fever," meanwhile, explores similar emotional terrain, but is more immediate, heavy and ornery--and not in a particularly pleasant way.

    Where DC4 truly shines is on immediate, momentum-filled rockers like "Rock and Roll Disease," the punchy "God Complex" and the hilariously sleazy "Candy Caine." The quiet, resigned and fairly Spartan "Hate Parade" is a rather anti-climactic closer, and again, "Cabin Fever" is just a little too cantankerous for my tastes.
    Still, overall, this is a solid effort from what initially looked to be a fairly inconsequential side project, with fairly strong, raw (if somewhat limited) vocal work to boot. Hopefully this album's proper issue on Chavis will mark the beginning of something that will go further, even though what I really want now is another Revelation-style motherload of metal.

    (Update: Since I initially wrote this review, the band has announced what appears to be an amicable split from Chavis)



    About this Writer:
    Vinaya Saksena // Vinaya is either a writer who dabbles in guitar playing, or a guitar player who dabbles in writing. A Maximum Metal staffer since 2004, he has also served as a reporter for several newspapers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Although his obsession with music is such that it does not allow time for much else by way of hobbies, he also enjoys traveling, trivia, photography, British comedy and the occasional A-Team re-run.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: DC4
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    ExplodeDC4
    2009
    Vinaya Saksena7/2/2009


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: DC4

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: DC4
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