Kerosene 454

Criminally underappreciated DC post-punk band of the mid-90s….

Kerosene 454 band photo

While many of the great forgotten underground bands of the 90’s have by now been paid their due tribute, and even reformed (see Codeine, American Football, Sunny Day Real Estate, and many, many more), Kerosene 454 is not among those acts. I suppose it’s still a possibility, possibly even a likelihood, but as I write this in 2024, their second and third LP’s (which are both total classics of the genre) remain sadly out of print. Even a used CD copy will run you $30 or $40 bucks before shipping! 

Still, if you know Kerosene 454, you know how great those albums are, and so you know that’s a small price. And by the way, this was a ferocious live band. I saw them play a few times, and every time they took hold of audiences that had probably, for the most part, never heard of them. 

So guys, if we do get a reissue at some point, how about including a live show or two in the mix? And a reunion tour wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

ALBUMS

Kerosene 454 Situation At Hand album cover

SItuation At Hand

Release Year: 1995
My Rating: B


Hard rockin debut - though a little bit of a muddle compared to their next 2 records.

HIGHLIGHTS: "What Was", "Nines"

Kerosene 454 Came By To Kill Me album cover

Came By To Kill Me

Release Year: 1996
My Rating: A


Exceedingly great post-hardcore record, pummeling and melodic, with highly memorable tunes. I'll never forget getting my 17 year old face rocked off by these guys some time around 1997 - they closed with "Injection" and the rhythm section was just completely unhinged in the greatest way. Again, this is a fantastic record, and I hope one day it becomes available in the digital realm (I mean, not even Bandcamp???). Until then I'll have to be content with my vinyl rip, scratches, skips, and all. A hidden gem for sure.

HIGHLIGHTS: "Tracer", "All Eyes West", "Injection", "Angelic in G#", "Continued"

Kerosene 454 At Zero album cover

At Zero

Release Year: 1998
My Rating: A


Another underappreciated slab of post-hardcore from these guys. Unfortunately, it was their last. This one rocks just as hard as Came By To Kill Me, but is chock full of hooks, almost-pop melodies, and some serious branching out into various styles. It all just works so well. Too bad this was the end, but it deserves to be made available on streaming services, or at least get a reissue.

HIGHLIGHTS: "Anti-Magnet", "Negatives", "Diminishing", "Heroes", "Electrics On The Rise"

OTHER RELEASES

  • Two For Flinching 7″ (1993): Debut 7″ from a future standout post-hardcore band, this one features an early drummer that is not (the brilliant) Darren Zentek. He ain’t bad, but then again, this 7″ is nothing near as special as what they’d realize on Came By To Kill Me. Still, there are flashes of an unorthodox approach to the genre that portend the greatness of what would follow on LP’s dos and tres.
  • Down For Three 7″ (1994): Another 7″, another drummer, but no Darren Zentek yet. Again, flashes of the K454 thing that would come later, but nowhere near the fullness of it yet.
  • Blown Clean 7″ (1994): review coming soon

MISCELLANEOUS / RELATED

coming soon…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *