If you were able to hitch a ride with Bill & Ted and embark on a tubular time-travelling journey, which era would interest you the most? Would it be the flail-swinging castle life of the middle ages? Or, would you venture into the unknown by leaping ahead to the future? Well, when it comes to Duck & Cover‘s latest EP, Two Shots, it feels like I’ve ventured back to the zenith of the punk rock’s third wave in the ’90s. And it feels weird.
I have a love and hate relationship with punk rock. I’ll always immerse myself into the legendary acts of the genre, such as The Misfits or Rancid, mainly because they crafted a truly unique style that deviated from the rest. Unfortunately, it seems like the scene is plagued with rampant copycats and a slew of unoriginality. Now, I don’t want my review to appear caustic, but after listening to the new EP by Duck & Cover several times in a row, I was left feeling pretty underwhelmed. While the convergence punk rock and hair metal seems like a neat novelty at first, the allure wears off pretty quickly. Once the first track comes to a close, you realize you’re listening to something that’s pretty average.
Despite the somewhat generic feeling you get after listening to the intro “Two Shots,” there are some catchy elements to be discovered with the other two songs. For example, the master riffage and booming beats featured on “Bleeding Edge” provide a darker sound to the recording and offer up something slightly deviating from the norm. Having two divergent rebellious styles unite in a cornucopia of nostalgia is also pretty impressive, creating a somewhat funky variant of punk rock. The remarkable guitar work continues on the EP’s finale, “Unlucky 17,” featuring more melodic intervals amid raucous beats.
In the end, there’s clearly talent shining through the music, especially once you get past the boilerplate song writing that’s reminiscent of 90s punk rock. Blending in influences of vintage 80s metal reinforces the notion that Duck & Cover is paying homage to the golden generations of eras past. Despite not being my cup of tea, I’m reticent to be overly critical. So, let’s just say you’ll have fun listening to Two Shots and possibly never think of listening to it again once you’re done.
Written by Jonathan Berthold
*edited by Danielle Kenedy