Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a city that is often mentioned as one of the most livable in the whole wide world. If that really is the case, Code Orange Kids try very hard to prove it wrong. On Love Is Love // Return To Dust the band sounds angry and maybe even a bit dissapointed, like they live in the middle of the shittiest ghetto imaginable.
Code Orange Kids is a band that you could compare to peers like Full Of Hell and Birds In Row. Young, driven, and not scared to combine their vicious Hardcore Punk with other extreme genres like Noise, (Death) Metal and Sludge. The biggest difference with the bands above is that Code Orange Kids also fools around with Post-Rock on some tracks, making use of build-ups and atmospheric parts.
Love Is Love // Return To Dust opens with ‘Flowermouth (The Leech)’, a very heavy, slow and sludgy effort with great noisy production. ‘Around My Neck // On My Head’follows, and although completely different musically (think Powerviolence and Punch), it still contains te same vibe. This is one of the strongest sides of this debut record, bringing such diversity, yet understanding the ‘concept’ of an album.
A very big change of pace is ‘Colors (Into Nothing)’. A song that is very reminiscent of Post-Rock bands like Mono and Explosions In The Sky, while still maintaining it’s own sound. This is something that is also notable on ‘Calm // Breathe’, a peaceful little piece that is used as a intro for aIbum closer Bloom (Return to Dust), which tears everything apart again.
The lyrics combine love and beauty with more macabre themes, just like the album title: ‘The love fades against a color’s change, the loss shakes against the cold. Tearing pieces from my decrepit skin, just to try and keep you warm.’ Sings frontwoman Reba Meyers in ‘Trudge’.
Love Is Love // Return To Dust is produced by Kurt Ballou (of Converge fame), who did an incredible job. Every instrument is perfectly hearable, and even the sparse (yet beautiful) clean vocals on ‘Liars // Trudge’ are mixed great. Everything with an added layer of Noise of course.
Deathwish did a good thing by signing such a young band like Code Orange Kids, because with a debut album like this, things can only get better. Combining the best parts of Sludge, Hardcore Punk, Post-Rock and Powerviolence they created a very unique sound. And I’m sure it’s here to stay.
Buy Love Is Love // Return to Dust here and stream it below:
Track list – Love Is Love // Return To Dust:
1. Flowermouth (The Leech)
2. Around My Neck // On My Head
3. Sleep (I’ve Been Slipping)
4. Liars // Trudge
5. Colors (Into Nothing)
6. Nothing (The Rat)
7. Roots Are Certain // Sky Is Empty
8. Choices (Love Is Love)
9. Calm // Breathe
10. Bloom (Return To Dust)
Written by Niels Koster