Review: Code Orange – I Am King

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Code Orange Kids have been making waves in the hardcore scene for a couple of years now. Their last record Love Is Love//Return To Dust was a solid, if unremarkable, emo tinged hardcore album. Little on that record would have prepared me for the absolute banger that is their sophomore album, I Am King. During the last two years the band have been balls deep gaining influence from early metalcore stalwarts such as Disembodied and Indecision, whilst soaking up the atmospheric world of Neurosis and indie bands such as MBV and The Breeders. The end result is a supremely well executed blend of crushing metallic hardcore and shimmering shoegaze-esque melodies.

Opener and first single “I Am King” rolls out with a grinding bass and neck snapping riff sure to get the Kung fu warriors dancing around like loons. “Slowburn” lives up to its name as it creeps about, topped with the menacing snarl of drummer and vocalist Jami Morgan, before letting loose with a headbanging breakdown. The band is not afraid to mix it up, as evidenced by the incredible “Dreams In Inertia.” This is where they really live up to the current hype. This is a brooding and serious number, opening up with a light and airy riff before transferring into a section that would have every beard-stroking post-metal fan nodding their heads in appreciation. What really makes this track stand out are the beautiful clean vocals from guitarist Reba Mayers. It’s great to see a young woman in heavy music who can crank out the riffs with the best of them and yet add an extra dimension vocally that is sorely missed from a lot of heavy bands. With I Am King Code Orange (nee Kids) have released a solid contender for album of the year and have gone to show that the youngsters can stand up there with the scene greats. Miss this at your peril.

0.5/5 FLUSHES

half flush I Am King is out today on Deathwish. 

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  • Metaphysical Anus

    ‘Twas a nice review, even though I don’t agree with you. I didn’t really enjoy this one.

    • Where do you disagree?

      • Metaphysical Anus

        I didn’t really enjoy this album.

      • In his head?

        • Metaphysical Anus

          In the imaginary utopia that is Finland.

          • Imaginary or not, at least it’s a utopia….

          • Metaphysical Anus

            It is until Mr. Putler shows up.

  • Great review! Will snag this once I get home from work today.

  • I saw these guys 2 years ago (I think?) and it was pretty solid. Reba is a beast. This album is next level for them though. Dig it/10

  • OH SHIT, I FORGOT AND I’M AN ASSHOLE. Tyree created our new review artwork. Thanks Tyree!

    • Tyree

      Half a flush is a teaser. We need a full on flush.

      • Metaphysical Anus

        Thank you based god Tyree.

      • Metaphysical Anus

        That’s easy. The new In Flames will provide the largest flush.

        • Tyree

          Oh my, is some one doing that review? Yikes!

          • Metaphysical Anus

            I don’t know if someone is brave enough for that. He/She would get my respect.
            (Comment has been edited due to feminism)

          • Seems a little pointless to review something we know no one here will like.

          • Metaphysical Anus

            But it would show the full flush. Besides, it would rustle Jim’s jimmies.

          • it would be worth it to see his reaction.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            What jimmies? I was born without these jimmies of which you speak.

          • I like it 🙁

            GL

          • I like YOU, GL.

          • W.

            GL, even if you like the new In Flames (which is a big steaming pile), you’re still okay in my book. Murmaider murmaider murmaider

          • I am streaming it now. I will get back with you – on track 2….

            GL

          • W.

            I already listened to the whole thing this morning. I was not pleased.

          • OK, so I agree with the sentiment that IF is not the old IF.

            Although Anders vocals are must different than in the past, the hooks and melodies that made all the prior IF material memorable are still present! So they aren’t playing as guitar-centric and or harsh vocals as their prior releases – that is fine with me – the songs still seem memorable.

            I would much rather listen to new IF material versus NO new IF material.

            BTW the chick singing in When the World Explodes is atrocious.

            GL

          • W.

            You’re all heart, GL. You and I may disagree on some things, but we need people like you here.

          • Honestly (I am on track 9) I would rather listen to this 1000x times than say Soundtrack to Your Escape. There were a bunch of turds on that album….

            In Plain View: what a chorus!
            Everything’s Gone: wow what a chorus!
            Paralyzed: what a chorus!
            Dead Eyes: dang what a chorus!

            Seems to be trend…

            GL

          • W.

            I’d rather listen to Yob!

          • re: When the World Explodes
            yeah it’s pretty bad. unlike the song “Dead End” from Come Clarity, which introduced me to my favorite female singer/songwriter Lisa Miskovsky!!! i have every album by her, she’s fantastic

          • Metaphysical Anus

            You need to put more enegry on the “murmaider”.

          • Tyree

            My thoughts as well Joe.

          • Christian Molenaar

            MasterLord reviewed Chelsea Grin, didn’t he?

          • Man, that was fun.

          • I will give it a justified review. I promise not to fan-boy all over it while doing so.

            GL

          • crazytaco_12

            Definitely an unpopular opinion, but I loved “Come Clarity” and “A Sense of Purpose”; “Sounds…” was more meh to me, so I might give this album a look-over

          • Room 101

            Don’t say that dude. I think this is pretty good. Their last album not so much, but this is solid.

          • W.
          • Tyree

            There is no toilet large enough for that pile of shit.

          • W.

            Dino droppings droppings

          • Tyree
          • Tyree

            Damn you McNulty. People around me at work are wondering why I just started laughing out loud uncontrollably.

          • This makes me laugh every time I see/hear it! Never gets old.

          • W.

            As RiverLethe said, this kills me. Every time.

      • J.R.

        Do the toilets get increasingly trashed the more flushes the album gets, with the first toilet being a little bloody and the 5th toilet is smothered in the remains of the posers who spawned such flushable garbage?

        • Tyree

          They do not unfortunately. I did this in sort of a rush but, I can always do that! Not a bad idea.

          • J.R.

            though…the more you have to flush something…the cleaner the bowl should be? so the more trashed a toilet the better the album is? (bc the album absolutely wrecks?). hmm. what a though system.

    • Gluteus_Maximus_Rage

      Hey there King Joe! Your drunken Australian friend here! I’m currently wasted in New Zealand during a work trip! *HIGH FIVE* Meanwhile, do peeps around these parts love Byzantine like I do? They hit their mark for their crowd funding campaign for their 5th album. BOOMTOWN. Good on ’em! BYAAAHHHH!

      EDIT: Not related – as a long time fan, the new Haunted album is siqq.

  • Guacamole Jim

    I’m picking this up for sure. I’m really liking what I’ve heard from these guys.

  • I missed them when they opened for Killswitch Engage. After listening to that song, I’m ok with my decision.

    • Stay tuned for the think tank post coming up in an hour!

      • Guacamole Jim

        Yessssssssssss!

      • Is that where we play “Which member of Code Orange is in my mouth now”?

        • W.

          Something like that!

      • Cock of Steele

        😀

  • Tyree

    Nice, I always have mega respect for drummers that can do lead vocal parts.

    • Tyree

      Machetazo being one of my favorite bands with their drummer as lead vocalist. He grinds the fuck out on the drums too. Very impressive skills.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l76RYhg4rxY

    • Metaphysical Anus
      • Tyree

        Although I’m not a huge fan of Absu I will give serious points to Proscriptor McGovern. The dude has some serious skills.

        • W.

          He’s a maniac, maniac.

      • Cock of Steele

        Nocturnus!

    • Like Atreyu’s drumma?

      • Tyree

        Never listened to them. That might be an exception.

  • Janitor Jim Dvggan

    Goddamnit. Another great musician was taken from us. I hope Survivor can survive without him. RIP.

    http://ultimateclassicrock.com/jimi-jamison-dies/?utm_source=sailthru&utm_medium=referral

    • Metaphysical Anus

      Who dat?

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan

        The singer of Survivor. They were a band that was in the same league as Journey and Foreigner over here.

        • Metaphysical Anus

          Never liked those two, so I won’t probably like this one either.

          • W.

            Eye of the Tiger is the only song people know them for.

          • Metaphysical Anus

            They’re the ones that made eye of the tiger? You learn something new every day.
            #LearningIsCool

      • Elite Extremophile

        i-g-g-y

  • Elite Extremophile

    If anyone is poor like me, this album is already up on spotify.

  • HessianHunter

    To my ears, Code Orange is the most exciting hardcore band to come out in the last few years. This new record goes hard.

    • W.

      Hail, Hessian. How’s the tour going?

      • HessianHunter

        I’ve been back for a week, dawg! It was pretty damn fun and occasionally weird as shit. Go look at Maeth’s Facebook/Twitter to see all the stupid shit we did to keep ourselves entertained on the road.

        • W.

          10-4, good buddy. I look forward to some good posts from you!

    • I’m with you. This new record has me jazzed. I’M FUCKIN’ JAZZED HOMEY.

  • guest

    I’m late to the game with these guys (discovered them about a week ago) but I fucking love this album. Can’t wait to go through their back catalogue

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    This album is skull crushing. Really good.

  • Mother Shabubu III

    I know it’s opinion, but I don’t understand the hype of this band. I liked “Dreams of Inertia”, but the rest of the album did nothing for me except for parts similar to “Dreams of Intertia”. I wish they would have done more in that experimental style. They have something there with that angle, I can sense it.

  • Howard Dean

    I’m not well versed in hardcore or its many derivatives, and I don’t really pay attention to the scenes, so I actually had never heard of these guys, even though they’re making a lot of waves (I’m frozen to the top of an iceberg). However, they are something I could see myself reaching for occasionally if I ever needed that hardcore/beatdown feel to my music (I currently reach for Harm’s Way or Nails to scratch that itch). I don’t need many of these bands in my collection, as I don’t listen to them all that often. But I might expand and add Code Orange. Nice review.

  • Xan

    Before I read this review, I totally misread it as a review for “Agent Orange” by Sodom. Fuck me.

  • Guacamole Jim

    Just got my monitors set up in my new place and gave the tune another listen. I gotta say…. awesome!

  • crazytaco_12

    I always dismissed this band because I joined a FB merch swap group that only had kids who liked shitty pop-punk and some hardcore stuff, but this actually sounded way better than most “metallic hardcore” I hear.