Review: Code Orange – Forever

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Band: Code Orange
Album: Forever
Genre: Hardcore punk, sludge, metalcore
Social Media: Official site/Facebook/Twitter

Almost done with January and I’ve already got a favourite album for the year. At least, I’ve got a favourite loud/mean sounding album.

Code Orange, formerly known as Code Orange Kids, are a hardcore, experimental, punkish band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and this album is their third, full-length album, Forever.

Forever is, from the beginning, a vicious and aggressive ride that allows a listener few chances to catch their breath, besides maybe one or two points. One such break comes with the third song fourth song on the album, Bleeding In The Blur, which has clean vocals provided by the band’s bassist, Reba Meyers.

This song honestly caught me off guard with it sounding more like an alternative rock song than anything else present on the album. I love the way the song sounds and it offers up a surprising amount of versatility.

The band also brings these strange little editing flourishes into some songs, like stutters and sudden audio stops, and while it is interesting to see the band going for something different, it doesn’t feel necessary. Thankfully, they don’t happen often and when they do, they are brief.

The band also brings these strange little editing flourishes into some songs, like stutters and sudden audio stops, and while it is interesting to see the band going for something different, it doesn’t feel necessary. Thankfully, they don’t happen often and when they do, they are brief.

Speaking of things that may be unnecessary, the last song, dream2, doesn’t really do it for me as a closer. As a stand-alone track, it’s fine, but as a closer, it just shouldn’t be there. Maybe try it as an interlude somewhere in the middle of the track listing.

However, the rest of the album, aside from maybe two other tracks (dream2 and Hurt Goes On), is a complete onslaught of abrasive and girthy punk that proves, the scene still has massive balls. You just need to look for it and looking at Code Orange shows you why this is the band that’s making waves.

The title track, Forever, is brutal,  Just have to know where to finds it. Ugly feels like a grunge throwback until the vocals come in, it’s Code Orange playing with our expectations and it is a blast. You can also hear these expectations challenged in Hurt Goes On.

This album is just a delight, in a sick, twisted way that’ll have you head banging and deciding to just say ‘fuck you to authority, expectations and your dreams.’

Listen to it if you like anything mean, gross, punk, industrial, or sludge sounding.

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New Music Review – Daisy Victoria – Nobody Dies

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Band: Daisy Victoria
EP: Nobody Dies
Genre: Indie-rock
Social Media: Facebook/Twitter/Bandcamp/Soundcloud

Listen:

Daisy Victoria is the singer-songwriter, indie-rocker that released her debut EP, Heart full Of Beef, back in March of this year. I reviewed said EP, over here and thought that it was a fantastic way of strutting into the indie-rock scene, with confident songs, fantastically delivered vocals and a generally well put together, if a little bit raw, release. And she’s been continuing to make waves in the blogoshpere, by developing a substantial following. That and airtime on radio-stations, new videos and such, Daisy Victoria is not only cooking with gas, but with a hob, a pan and some food.

Now a few months later, we have the next EP, Nobody Dies, set to be released on the 30th of November, although it is available to stream now through Miss Victoria’s Soundcloud.

It’s clear from the start of the EP that strides are being made in some new and exciting directions for Victoria, not massive steps, but steps none the less. For one, there seem to be some dabbling in effects and bigger, more bombastic elements of rock music. I mean, there are plenty of subtle effects here, but strangely enough, the songs sound at their best when the guitars sound tarty. Like the flanged guitar on Ammonite and the occasional flares of it on Blue Arc.There’s also a ton of effects on nearly everything in Coals as well, this would usually turn me off of a song, but here it doesn’t feel offensive – Just a positive feeling towards it. I guess, I could say, that it doesn’t feel like the effects are trying to hide lazy or boring instrumentation, so it just adds and builds-up the song, as opposed to just muddling it all up.

I’m really enjoying the bass focus on this EP, it’s been brought forward in the production and sounds like it’s been given the centre stage, if only to ground the effect drunk guitars. Still, I’m glad to see the bass take a well-deserved turn in the spotlight. On top of that, I think the general production on this EP surpasses Heart Full Of Beef – the instruments sound punchy and the vocals are as clear as they need to be.

This is just great, the production being upped has made some great moments on this EP even greater. Like the bridge, just before the outro of the title track, Nobody Dies, it’s wonderfully driving and fun to listen to – the way the guitars screech in the background, while the drum and bass steer in no wrong direction, just good, fun rock. The song Ammonite is rather great too – the bass through this song reminds me of a very Cure influenced bass guitar. There’s also some organ on this track which really chunks the whole thing out and doesn’t stick out, at least in my opinion.

While I do think that a lot of the darkness from the first EP has taken a bus home, for now, there are still some incredibly intense moments, for starters, the intro to Another Sky, is wonderfully sultry and so is the whole of Coals, but that could be owing to the effected vocals, ambitious electronics and some erratic guitar (also, is that a harmonica I can hear). Of course though, all of this is held together by Miss Victoria’s vocals.

Nobody Dies, feels again, like an EP of experimentation and that does, somewhat, apply to the singing on this release as well. The vocal line she sings in Coals is my favourite line I’ve heard her do yet. I’d like to see more of this, either the effected vocals, or maybe even an angrier (at least sounding) side of her vocals. Blue Arc has some low vocals, which I really appreciated, but it’d be nice to see those be dragged out a little bit more. Besides that, its business as usual Daisy Victoria vocals, which is great, I can’t really see why people would have a problem with them; they tie these brilliant songs together.

Final Notes:

Nobody Dies is another killer release from Daisy Victoria that promises fans an interesting ride with ecstatic guitars, more electronic influences, some killer production and an infectious desire to expand on Miss Victoria’s musical empire. Take care and try not to get lost in all the sounds and moments that this EP provides.