Darrow Chemical Company: Plastic Smile

Darrow ChemicalIn the midst of New Jersey’s historic punk scene stand Darrow Chemical Company, who released Plastic Smile this summer, an album that proves to be well worth a listen, no matter what season.

Plastic Smile’s eponymous intro begins with a short clip of elevator-style music leading directly into the upbeat guitar work showcased throughout the album.  Within the track are messages about conformity and a “keeping up with the Joneses” attitude, with a vocal style and instrumentation reminiscent of NOFX.

“He Said She Said,” the third track on the album, has a guitar riff in the style of Blink-182, but J.V.’s unique vocals set the song apart, blending well with the instrumentation. It’s a song about that typical way in which relationships end—as the lyrics state, “Something to say, it ends the same/He said, she said.”

“Brown Eyes,” the seventh track on the album, is a scornful track about a relationship gone awry which effectively uses Jekyll and Hyde imagery to paint a picture for the listener about the type of person this character is. Plastic Smile’s closing track, “Nowhere to Run,” rounds out the album. After the listener gets through personal songs about relationships and various frustrations, it ends with a song containing relatable messages about experiencing a breakdown.It continues with the fast-paced guitars and distortion present throughout the rest of the album. As the opening lyrics state, “You should be in this for yourself/False pretense, no regrets, piles of cigarettes/You should be in this for yourself.”  The song talks about the struggle to regain independence during a time where all hope is lost. 

Overall, Plastic Smile maintains an energy that makes the listener want to continue from song to song. At times some of the lyrics come off simplistic, which often works with the song’s subject matter, while other tracks utilize complex imagery to make for an enjoyable listening experience. In short, Darrow Chemical Company’s latest release does Jersey’s punk scene justice.

About the Author

Loren KessellLoren Kessell is a freelance writer and barista with a passion for music. Attending her first local show at the age of 13 started her love affair with New Jersey's music scene. She hopes to expose people to all of the great music waiting to be heardView all posts by Loren Kessell →