Modern hardcore takes an industrial tinged sidetrack

Starting off with a muffled and distorted voice and a very mechanical guitar sound, opening and title track ‘Forever’ has a very big Converge vibe, especially in its mid section where it takes off into traditional hardcore territory before the inevitable big breakdown to finish on.

Next track ‘Kill the Creator’ kicks in with more of a traditional hardcore footing and then stops a couple of time to allow the more electronic side of the band to show through a bit.

The more I listen to Code Orange, the more I hear the sum of their influences, scene leaders such as Refused, Converge and Trap Them, while Nine Inch Nails really make their presence felt on ‘Hurt Goes On’. Distorted drum loops and pitch-shifted vocals take place everywhere, sometimes to the detriment of the song. The only real standout for me is the total change of pace with ‘Bleeding in the Blur’ where the band go for a far more grunge/hard rock approach with great vocals from guitarist/vocalist Reba Meyers. Except for that, the mechanical approach and loud/soft, stop/start of the music leaves it feeling dry at times, and nowhere near as aggressive as the hardcore I grew up listening to.

While certainly an off kilter hardcore band, Code Orange are one I have only heard positive things about due to their creativity within a fairly strict, sometimes small minded genre. After a few listens I am still unsure if I like them or not yet. This isn’t the first time I have watched the ‘next big thing’ pass me by as I look on with a twisted lip and wonder what I am missing. Perhaps I will get it next time around.

1. Forever
2. Kill The Creator
3. Real
4. Bleeding in the Blur
5. The Mud
6. The New Reality
7. Spy
8. Ugly
9. None is Untouchable
10. Hurt Goes On
11. Dream2