Monday, 6 April 2020

Code Orange "Underneath" (2020)

Formally known as Code Orange Kids, the Pittsburgh outfit have gained notoriety with previous efforts I Am King and Forever. Their unique take on Hardcore and Metal fused with an apatite for disjointed infusions of noise elevates to a new plateau as classic and metallic Industrial inspirations integrate into the aesthetic pallet. Underneath is a typically Code Orange record with their approach to aggressive slams, beat downs and chugg riffs remaining firmly intact with that spice of jolted timing. It also embraces its new leaning fully with atmospheric songs that play into a grander sense theme that's dark and twisted.

Its two sides that play strongly of each other. The song writing feels matured as the "lighter" tracks carry melody and theme with weight to make ear worms and tunes you won't get out of your head in a hurry. The Easy Way is perhaps a shining example of this but its general temperament and definitely singing hail to 90s Nine Inch Nails. Between these thematic, less aggressive songs lay sonic assaults of stomping brutality dressed up in dystopian Industrial noise. Bleak synths, ambiguous voicings and slathers of mix manipulation rock the cradle as the common song structures and expectant riff formulas are toyed with to great effect!

At forty seven minutes, these fourteen tracks play well with a healthy variety and depth of approaches to the madness that will birth favorite moments for many a listener. For me its the manic outro of Last Ones Left, its palm mute slamming, slowly scathing into the putrid as the walls of sound collapse. Who I Am is another, an unsettled atmosphere is held together beautifully by Reba Meyers voice and the ghostly lead guitar lurking in the background. It too trades blows with the song deconstructing itself, with feisty production experiments in noise. The title track goes out on a bang, leaving much thirst for more. A total treat of a record, It still feels fresh and I expect it will grow on me with time.

Rating: 8/10
Favorite Tracks : Who I Am, The Easy Way, Last Ones Left, A Sliver, Underneath