Pittsburgh marauders Code Orange have been making frantic, jagged, experimental metallic hardcore since the early-’10s days when they were actual teenagers recording under the name Code Orange Kids. With every successive album, they’ve somehow grown both harsher and more accessible. Today, they follow up 2017’s utterly gargantuan Forever with the new album Underneath. It is sick as fuck.
If you are predisposed to hate anything that carries even the slightest whiff of nü-metal, you might want to stay away from this. Code Orange’s sound is bigger and cleaner than it’s even been, and some of the songs on Underneath have some serious black-JNCOs-and-goggles-on-your-head vibes. Code Orange have been messing around more and more with turgid goth melodies and ominous electronic clank-whirrs. But at the same time, they’ve also gotten more into sudden, disorienting switch-ups, and the hardest parts of Underneath sound positively dangerous. “Last Ones Left,” for instance, is the kind of song that might just take the top of your head off.
The whole album is grand, ambitious, and violent. It’s a chaotic record for chaotic times, and I’ve been playing the promo a lot lately as everything shifts into apocalypse mode. The band recorded it with old collaborator Will Yip and with Foo Fighter/Deftones producer Nick Raskulinecz. Former Nine Inch Nails drummer Chris Vrenna helped out with the programming. We’ve already posed the early tracks “Underneath,” “Swallowing The Rabbit Whole,” and “Sulfur Surrounding,” but the album really demands a full-immersion dive. Check it out below.
UPDATE: Like just about every other concert around the world, Code Orange’s album release show this Saturday, 3/14 at Pittsburgh’s Roxian Theatre has been postponed. The band has decided they’ll still perform for an empty Roxian and livestream it for the world. The show will go live at Code Orange’s Twitch channel starting at 9PM ET this Saturday. Read the band’s announcement below.
ANNOUNCEMENT. please RT pic.twitter.com/6rdB4Om9cn
— Code Orange (@codeorangetoth) March 13, 2020
Underneath is out now on Roadrunner Records. Check out our recent feature on Code Orange.