Code Orange Kids are a band most readers of the blog are quite familiar with at this point, having been on the rise since the release of their demo in 2010. Between then and now they put out two extremely well received releases in the form of the Embrace Me/Erase Me Cassette and Cycles 7 inch and engaged in quite a bit of touring before being picked up by deathwish inc for this release, their debut full length, and right away you can tell that their time grinding away on the road has been quite beneficial to them.
The first thing that hit me with this record was the stunning boost in recording quality, courtesy of the always on point Kurt Ballou of Godcity Studios/Converge fame. The recording is loud, crisp and clear and perfectly captures the raw nature of the band. The songwriting in general has taken a huge step forward, and this stands as the finest and most cohesive collection of songs the band has written to date. Given the young age of most of the members this perhaps isn't surprising, but there is a refreshing youthful energy and hunger in these songs that sets them uniquely apart from many of the bands in the scene today. The band cares little for genre conventions as well, even dipping quite successfully into post rock during the song "Colors (Into Nothing)". This song and other brief moments of calm allow for breathing room on an otherwise relentlessly heavy and chaotic record, which features some crushing slow sections that lean more towards doom metal then the band has before.
Fans of the band's previous records are bound to be more then satisfied with this debut offering from Code Orange Kids, and those who initially dismissed or have yet to hear the band might just turn their heads when they give a listen to this extremely impressive first LP. It is always great to see an exciting new band deliver on their promise in spades, and I and no doubt many others are looking forward to what the future holds for the band.
Alright, lets go ahead and get this out of the way: Converge has been my favorite hardcore/metal band and band in general for a good number of years now. When I first picked up Jane Doe at the record store across the street from my high school based on the artwork alone, I had only slightly explored hardcore and more extreme music in general for a short amount of time, and it was both unfamilar and instantly intriguing to me from the first listen, incredibly abrasive but drawing me in at the same time. Over a decade from it's release it still gives me that same feeling of excitement to this day, and is one of a small number of hardcore releases that still does. It's the album that put me on a steadfast path to discovering more music with this sense of urgency, raw emotion and sincerity, and it's one of the key records responsible for my love of hardcore and extreme music today. But enough about Jane Doe, this is about their new album, and one hell of an album it is indeed.
Converge now stands at a staggering 22 years of being a band, an
incredible amount of time for any band, let alone one so prolific and
extreme.This new record shows a band that continues to push their limits and boundaries, as well as return to the a more organic production style the bears the stripped down rawness of You Fail Me. "Aimless Arrow" opens the record and sets a blistering pace that is congruent through the majority of the record with a few standout exceptions like the methodical assault of "A Glacial Pace" and the crushing stoner/doom influenced "Coral Blue", the latter containing a soaring chorus that is surprising in the best way possible.
I could go song through song because every track is memorable, but I'll just leave it at this:This is some of the darkest, heaviest and most volatile material the band has released to date, period. A bold statement given this band's previous records. And as many fans of the bands are growing older and into adult lives themselves, the lyrics reflect the strain of working constantly and devoting all your time and energy at the cost of stress to yourself and those you care about. Take the opening lines of the closing track "Predatory Glow":
"I've found myself
running out of time
relating to those that
just stopped trying
clinging to those little things
and the light they bring
i bow down to you
Lyrics like this are why no matter how far they push their sound and boundaries genre wise, Converge will always be a hardcore band in both spirit and message. Even more than 20 years after their inception, they are releasing records that prove why they are a band with an incredible amount of imitators and very few peers, and continue to stay relevant while many bands cash in, burn out or fade away. One of my favorite releases of the year, and an essential listen for all fans of extreme music.
Today sees the release of the self-titled 7" from the UK's scuzzy Hardcore brothers, Let It Die. Released via Church Of Fuck, Moshtache Records & Dead Chemists Records this is a shot of hard-riffing, raw-blasting Hardcore limited to 300 on beautiful purple wax.
Church Of Fuck have sold out of their allotted copies already but Moshtache and Dead Chemists still have copies so grab one while you can!
You can also check out it via the Bandcamp where you can stream the whole thing or download it for a measly few pounds/bucks:
A few months ago I posted Menace's new EP "Agony." It received some love, so now I'm bringing you a music video for the track "Infamous" on the EP. Filmed by Matt Spencer(https://www.youtube.com/user/fishbrains)