By Jack Evans
When Code Orange Kids formed in 2008, they were literally just kids – well, teenagers – but by their 2011 EP Cycles, they were already releasing impressively mature and complex hardcore informed by classic aggression and horror-movie doom-and-gloom, a combination they nearly perfected on their excellent 2012 debut LP, Love is Love // Return to Dust. Earlier this year, the Pittsburgh-based outfit dropped the “Kids” from their name and began a semi-mysterious marketing campaign for their follow-up, the upcoming I Am King.
Based on the songs released so far, the name change isn’t just a move to a more “serious” aesthetic; it’s also a signifier of how the band is expounding on what they did two years ago. Both of the first two singles have been heavier than anything on Love is Love, and “Dreams in Inertia,” the third, makes something new of a different approach. The track amplifies a moody atmosphere that the band explored both on Love is Love and on their 4-way split with Tigers Jaw, Self Defense Family, and The World Is… and pairs it with abrasive, slow-paced heaviness (appropriately, the creepy, grainy Max Moore-directed video recalls 90s metal offerings) that also allows co-vocalists Reba Meyers and Jami Morgan’s disquieting cleans to succeed. “No boxes. No boundaries. No fear.” has been the slogan surrounding the marketing campaign for I Am King; musically, Code Orange seems to be able to take its own advice without going overboard.
Code Orange‘s I Am King comes out September 2 via Deathwish, Inc.