Code Orange Kids - Cycles
Record Label: Mayfly Records
Release Date: November 2011
Generally I don't go seeking new music. It's strange, but I'm so swamped with what I'm anticipating or rediscovering a love of the past that I sometimes tend to forget that it's my job to find you new music. When I do hit that realization, I immediately go to my friends. During this year's South by Southwest, Bobby Markos of Native wore a Code Orange Kids t-shirt every damn day I saw him. With that, I gave them a spin and I was not disappointment in the least. The band's self-titled debut was a little too dirty, but their follow-up cassette, EMBRACE ME // ERASE ME was a six minute pummel to the throat. Oh, did I mention it's a bunch of seventeen and eighteen year old kids?
Hearing the first "Omph!" on Cycles' title track is a cheesy mislead-in, as the ten minute 7" is quite an exquisite piece of hardcore fury and progress. The opening "CYCLES (THE DAYS GET LONGER)" and "WALLS (WE LOSE EACH OTHER)" is a intensely savage back to back moment before the whole piece is interluded by the dark and cryptic "SALVAGE//FOLD," cutting the album perfectly between a ferocious hardcore start and an even more damaging second half. The slowed tempo of "GIVE (THE RATS, THEY WANT YOU)" is downright demonic. It's the closing four and a half minutes of "TAKE (THE SOIL IS CALLING)" that excites my already heighten love of the genre this year. With four songs prior ranging a little over or under a minute, the final track encompasses all previous elements until its final breakdown that's as frightening as it is infectious. The part that sets off the end is one guitar lick into a single voice and then a choral breakdown of "The rats want you! The soil is calling!" and it is one of the most damning moments in hardcore and thrash this year. In that same year, Code Orange Kids are already pushing their sound with two releases and are positioning themselves for something bigger.
With all the established hardcore coming from Bridge 9, Deathwish Inc. and No Sleep this year paying off big, the most promising moment is hearing a record like Cycles. It's an alert that things aren't slowing down anytime soon, and that the established are always willing to bring the newcomers to the forefront - especially when they're being inspired by a new generation as well. If the next Native record is heavier than you think - it's probably because the community is feeding off each others' excitement - and that's going to be a great thing for 2012.