Darrow Chemical Company: A Nightmare on Seventh Avenue
A Nightmare on Seventh Avenue is a horror punk release with a raw personality that runs through the entire album, and this band delivers songs that pierce a normally cliché-ridden genre. Instead of focusing on song topics that would be aptly suited for under-funded B-horror movies, like that of so many other related bands, Darrow Chemical Company fuels their lyrics with real-life, everyday tragedies. Taking on the morbid curiosities found in love, death, and even alcoholism, J.V. Bastard uses his unique vocal approaches to lend more weight to the songs. In “Better Dead Than Wed,” his guttural voice accentuates the darkness of the lyrics, “Bottles next to our bed again / passed out and drunk again,” as the rest of the band keeps up with their distorted guitars and gang vocals. What’s striking about this album is the way that Darrow Chemical Company uses its influences as navigation for its own musical direction. Incorporating qualities of The Misfits, early AFI, and even Credence Clearwater Revival, A Nightmare on Seventh Avenue isn’t afraid to play off of these previous significant impacts. As though the band were channeling the goth rock of Alice Cooper, the last song on the album is entitled “Welcome to My Nightmare,” in which they sing “My wasted words and time were all for nothing,” though nothing could be further from the truth for this album, a singular representation of the grim qualities found in the commonplace.