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Back When They Were Code Orange Kids - 72%

Thumbman, December 2nd, 2019

Man, remember back when Code Orange were Code Orange Kids? I sure don't, because I'm somewhat of a perma-noob when it comes to the hardcore scene. They provided one of the best live shows I've seen in recent years, and I'm a big fan of their last two albums. I've been meaning to dig into their past for a while but just never got around to it. This split with Full of Hell (who provided another live show highlight for me), is as good an excuse as any to go digging into Code Orange's past.

Full of Hell kicks off the split with "Fox Hole", which goes from bottom dwelling sludge to bludgeoning hardcore and back again. Honestly as cool as the guitar is, the drums are the real highlight for me. That tom build up over feedback while they are transitioning into the hardcore section kicks ass. After a minute of groggy power violence, "Reeds In A River, Dry" brings some atmosphere to the split - the slow tom drumming anchors off-kilter feedback and pained rasps. Code Orange Kids bring a lot of variety to this split. While they're undeniably hardcore, they really go out of their way to prove their genre agnosticism. The muddy "IV (My Mind is a Prison)" gives ample time for Reeba's clean vocals to shine. "V (My Body is a Well)" has plenty of moments for hardcore try-hards to spin kick or whatever, but also delves into some sludgier passages and even adds some melody to the mix.

While this will never be a highlight in either bands' career, it showcases two very interesting bands spewing forth a varied effort. This definitely skews towards sludge-laden hardcore, but there's lots of interesting stuff in the mix. Code Orange Kids were no slouches, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I very much prefer what they became once they gave "Kids" the ax (which was a pretty apt moniker, honestly - these guys started ridiculously young). Anyway, this was a pretty cool and brief listen and I'd say give it a listen if you're into either of these bands.