Code Orange, formerly Code Orange Kids, released I Am King on Sept. 2. This highly anticipated sophomore album is almost like the weird cousin no one in the family talks about compared to their 2012 release Love is Love//Return to Dust. The hardcore punk band’s sound bordered on metalcore when they were still a part of the underground scene. Now, it seems like they’ve grown a lot as a band and their sound has grown as well.
Their first album was heavy, abrasive, and almost violent. If anything, I Am King pushes this to the extreme. As drummer Jami Morgan described it, “A lot of the heavier parts are heavier and sometimes more obvious. A lot of the odd parts are weirder and a little more anti-social.” Of course, I’ll always love a good female hardcore vocalist and Reba Meyers skillfully takes up the mantle. With the harsh vocal combination of Meyers, Morgan and third vocalist/guitarist Eric Balderose, as well as sporadic guitar distortion and alarmingly heavy bass, this album is a good investment for a hardcore fan.
Unfortunately for those who aren’t as interested in the scene, this album can’t supply you with much. The tonal aggression is understandably not for everyone. The experimental combination of dreamy ambience and elegantly jarring guitar riffs are an acquired taste. In the end, despite being somewhat unusual, it’s a remarkably good album for such a young, ambitious band.
Favorite Tracks: “Slowburn”, “Starve”, and “Mercy”
Album Rating: 3.5/5