If you’ve ever wanted to listen to a 90’s alt-rock band that developed schizophrenia and decided to double down with bath salts, then CODE ORANGE should be right up your alley. There’s just something about their virulent take on hardcore that strikes some sort of nerve with each listen. The awkward stops in songs, the strange rhythmic qualities they use for fight riff, upon mosh riff, upon ambient haunting textures, the peculiar imagery associated with the band; it all adds up to something that’s multi-dimensional, which is not common in the metal genres. ESPECIALLY in hardcore.
I’ve known about CODE ORANGE for a little while now, so their particular flavor of destruction isn’t exactly new to me, but Forever (January 13, Roadrunner Records) is still a surprising blend of every corner of hell they could manage to stitch together, and even some moments of welcome reprieve. Songs like “Bleeding In the Blur” are almost very relaxing to listen to, despite the fact that it begins with a bit of a mysterious and unnerving guitar melody, into a wall of high gain feedback, but it’s an alt-rock JAM. It’s nostalgic, yet it maintains the band’s fresh perspective.
Not only does the musicality convey evil about 99% of the time, but HOLY SHIT the mix does too. This record will crush your ass with pummeling drums, chest thumping bass, ear shredding guitar tones and vocals that sound like they’re coming directly out of Jami’s (vocals/drums) mouth, and into your ear holes. I will admit, I can’t understand half the shit he says, but it doesn’t matter. This release feels alive. Even with some of the abrupt track cutoffs and strange noises, it sounds like I’m sitting in a crummy venue with an awesome sound guy running the board. Conveying that energy is so important for heavier bands, and they fucking NAILED it.
I do feel like the band will receive some sort of backlash for the “softer” direction taken on some songs (already seen my Facebook feed blow up about “Bleeding In the Blur”) but that should be the last thing that happens. They’re taking a chance and conveying their talents, bearing it all for everyone to see, and it sounds fucking great. So what if there’s singing? So what if it’s not TRVE CVLT hardcore shit? Heavy is in the emotions displayed, not the genre played.
This is a great release, from an original band, and that’s all one can ask for. Music that puts you in a mood is always welcome in my home, and Forever by CODE ORANGE definitely struck that chord with me. I can’t wait to see them live so I can probably get murdered.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM