Saturday, February 18, 2012

Darrow Chemical Company - A Nightmare on Seventh Avenue

Our review about "Darrow Chemical Company - A Nightmare On Seventh Avenue" (06-10-2011).

Horrorpunk doesn’t necessarily need vampires, zombies and such things. Darrow Chemical Company proves that with their debut „A Nightmare on Seventh Avenue“. Finally something new in the nowadays rather boring „scene“. The band is still very underground which has the negativ effect that they are not as known as they’d deserve – yet! But the Darrow-members ain’t new to the „scene“. They bring years of experience, playing in bands like Mister Monster, Gotham Road and Michale Graves. Darrow Chemical Company isn‘t a typical horrorpunk-band that goes on stage with make up and fangs, playing clichee songs. They’re more about the everyday horror and experiences that changes the way you look at things…as you can hear on „A Nightmare on Seventh Avenue“.

The intro „The seventh house“ brings you to the place where most of the inspiration to this album comes from. You hear a frustrated J.V. Bastard jamming on his guitar in a chaotic enviroment, trying to get things off his chest. It’s the perfect atmosphere to lead you into the first actual track, which is the song J.V. attemps to create here…
The title-track („A Nightmare on Seventh Avenue“) starts off with shattering glass – a symbol for all the frustration that has been locked for quite some time, now finally comes out as a rampage over everything that went wrong. The anger about empty promises and sadness over how it all turned out. This song is a clearance with an old relationship that failed and how to leave this past being by letting the negativity out. The vocals really bring the right emotions that makes this song so good. The apology to his friends at the end of the song let you know how sincere this track really is. Just like the lyrics, the music of „A Nightmare on Seventh Avenue“ is very strong. The tune of this piece of punkrock stucks in your head immediately and makes you wanna hear more.   
Next up is „Anything You Want“, a great horrorpunk-love song: a dead guy returns as he falls in love again. But it’s not a cliche-song of the scene. It’s more a declaration of love and affection as well as a plea to be loved back for the one you truly are. The message of the song is simple and well written with horror-metaphors: just let me prove my worth and love, i’ll do anything you want! The music to that track reminds of a Ramones-song. The last seconds of it are even a Ramones-cover what might seem a bit strange when you listen to the song the first time, but definately fits.
„Better Dead Than Wed“ is a song about the demon called alcohol and about the disgust you feel when the partner spends more time drinking than caring about the relationship. That demon can change a person till it has no heart nor soul anymore and a day contains more alcohol than love for one another. The song shows with just a few words how it is to live with such a person and how agressive and frustrating it is. Once more J.V. is doing an awesome job transfering these emotions in word and tonation. The music is pure punkrock that let’s you sing-a-long with the song after the first listen.
„Full Moon Rising“ is the fourth song and more typical horrorpunk than the rest. It could even be a Blitzkid-song. Superficially the song’s about a werewolf asking his girl to stay with him no matter what he does but leave him alone when his bloodlust is rising and he becomes the monster. A closer look shows that it’s a desire of humans too – to have a partner who sticks with you through thick and thin, but to have some free space also. The song starts with a short wolf-noise and instrumental part.  The following part of the song brings out the inner wolf in you and is perfect for a mosh-pit. Melodic backvocals complete J.V.‘s singing and make the track unique on the album. „Full Moon Rising“ ends with a sample of „Bad Moon Rising“ by Creedence Clearwater Revival – so you can see the track also as some kinda tribut to that classic.
The subject in „Don’t Believe“ is simply the feeling of hopelessness. It’s about fighting to be someone and finally realise that sometimes we are not – no matter if in a relationship or in other situations of our lives. The song is the shortest on the album. Its music would fit on a Ramones-album – just a straight punkrock-song with sing-a-long-chorus.
„Teenage Dreams“ is a song most of you already know from „Over Your Dead Body“ by Mister Monster. Since it was written by J.V. Bastard, he decided to re-record that song with Darrow Chemical Company. Don’t think I have to talk bout the topic of it, since the Monster-version is out there for over ten years now. This version has just small diffrences in lyrics and music compared to the old version. The fact that J.V. could sing and arrange the song by himself now, gives this classic new energy and a bit more passion and soul. Damn good choice to bring this song back to life.
The last song of the album is „Welcome To My Nightmare“. Even if the title implicate that this should have been the first track, the story says diffrent. It’s about finding a new way without all the negativity of the other songs despite of the experiences. Kinda restart life by closing the chapter of a painful past. This great final really would fit on „Over Your Dead Body“. Vocals and instruments are killer and gives the listener a lot of energy and a positiv mood.

Result:  That’s how Horrorpunk should sound like. A must-have for fans of Mister Monster, Blitzkid, Ramones, etc. Oh, and… „If the album is not good enough, fuck you“

9 of 10 Tombstones 

Tracklist (Length: ca. 24 minutes)
The Seventh House
A Nightmare On Seventh Avenue
Anything You Want
Better Dead Than Wed
Full Moon Rising
Don't Believe
Teenage Dreams
Welcome To My Nightmare

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