Kerosene 454 was a classic D.C. band in the sense that their lifespan was short and prolific. The band formed in 1993, beginning their career with a flurry of 45s followed up by their first LP, Situation at Hand. The early releases were standard D.C. punk: loud, scathing, and with little melody. After the recording of Situation at Hand, Kerosene 454's sound took off with Came By to Kill Me due to the emergence of Darren Zentek's drumming ability. Whereas the early Kerosene 454 catalog was a dull drone, Came By to Kill Me was an ecstatic roar; the interplay between the throaty screams and squealing guitars of Erik Denno and Jim Wall began to rival even Fugazi's legendary duo of Picciotto/MacKaye.
Due to the band's growing popularity, Polyvinyl compiled the group's early 45s and first record onto one LP, Race, which was released in 1997. In 1998, Kerosene 454 issued their third and final album, At Zero. Undoubtedly their most accomplished and melodic record, it featured Darren Zentek (ex-Glendale) shining on the drums, coming off like the long lost twin brother of Don Caballero's Damon Che. After a quick tour in support of At Zero, the band called it quits. After the breakup, Denno and Zentek started playing with another D.C. band, called Oswego, while brothers Jim Wall and John Wall went on to form Vito Bruno with Brandon Butler (ex-Boys Life and Farewell Bend) and Vin Novara (ex-Crownhate Ruin). ~ Yancey Strickler