Code Orange continue to infiltrate the mainstream, and though they might've been called sell-outs in a different era, today they continue to be a band you want to root for. They've gone from releasing a split with Tigers Jaw, TWIABP, and Self Defense Family and opening Touche Amore tours (back when they were called Code Orange Kids) to collaborating with Slipknot's Corey Taylor and being nominated for a Grammy, and even as they branch out from hardcore and find themselves in very mainstream places, they never forget their roots and their music only gets more adventurous. This year, they're opening Slipknot's tour, but they're also doing a headlining tour with support from killer underground bands like Show Me the Body, Jesus Piece, Year of the Knife, and Machine Girl. They remain ambassadors for the scene that birthed them, a scene that already seems intent on finding the "Next Code Orange" and probably will or already have (since signing Code Orange, their major label Roadrunner picked up Turnstile and Higher Power, and bands like Knocked Loose and Vein have been bringing hardcore to a wider audience lately as well). But Code Orange themselves aren't even done leaving their mark. Their new album Underneath is the most accessible album they've released yet, and it's one of their gnarliest and most experimental.

Guitarist/vocalist Reba Meyers already brought some of the accessibility of the now-defunct, melodic Code Orange offshoot Adventures to Code Orange songs like Forever's "Bleeding In The Blur," but she does it way more often than ever on Underneath and she's not the only Code Orange member to sing clean on this album. It has co-production by Nick Raskulinecz, who has made bands like Foo Fighters and Deftones sound very, very big, but it also has co-production from the diligent, freakish mind of the band's own Jami Morgan and from past collaborator Will Yip, who has worked with most modern punk bands worth listening to. Just from that list of producers alone, you can already get a feel for the kind of push and pull that defines this album. There are parts that can sound like Slipknot or even Linkin Park, but much more so than "Bleeding In The Blur," Underneath obscures the clean-sung hooks or blends them with some of the most desolate, gruesome sounds Code Orange have made to date. It's Code Orange's most direct foray into industrial music, and it features programming by Chris Vrenna, who was in Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson's band, and the influence of those artists is not hard to spot at all (though programming was also handled by Code Orange's own Eric “Shade” Balderose, who also recently created the visualizer for Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park's remix of a Foxing song, but I digress). With that industrial influence, they're constantly toying with and manipulating all the sounds that the band first created live. One second you're banging your head to some vicious metalcore, and then twitchy, glitchy electronics start fucking with the song mid-verse.

Underneath is an album that has a little something for everyone, but it challenges everyone too. If you're coming to this because you heard about them from Slipknot and you thought "Sulfur Surrounding" was catchy, Code Orange might end up turning you on to some pretty brutal, underground type shit. If you've been with the band since their days in the hardcore scene, you might have to admit their more mainstream-friendly elements are also valid artistic decisions. If you're coming to them because you read about them on an indie rock blog or because you saw them on the Coachella lineup, you might be about to listen to the heaviest album of your life. Code Orange might just be the first band to be mainstream metal, hipster metal, and hardcore scene-approved all at once, and that chameleonic ability is no small part of what makes Underneath great. It's either gonna be an album everyone can rally behind, or an album everyone hates for completely different reasons. And doesn't that in and of itself kinda fucking rule?

Underneath is out now via Roadrunner. Stream it and watch three videos below...

UPDATE: Saturday's (3/14) release show is cancelled, but instead Code Orange are playing an empty venue and streaming it live.

Code Orange -- 2020 Tour Dates
MAR 14 - Pittsburgh, PA - Roxian Theater (Record Release Show)
MAR 30 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
APR 01 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
APR 02 - Virginia Beach, VA - Peabody's
APR 03 - Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade
APR 04 - Pensacola, FL - Vinyl Music Hall
APR 07 - Austin, TX - Mohawk
APR 09 - Mesa, AZ - The Nile
APR 11 - San Francisco, CA - Slim's
APR 12 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre
APR 13 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
APR 15 - Sacramento, CA - Harlow's
APR 16 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre
APR 20 - Salt Lake City, UT
APR 21 - Denver, CO - Marquis Theatre
APR 23 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge*
APR 24 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick*
MAY 2 - Concord, SC - Epicenter Festival
MAY 10 - Daytona Beach, FL - Welcome To Rockville
MAY 17 - Columbus, OH - Sonic Temple Festival
MAY 23 - Leeds, UK - Slam Dunk Festival
MAY 24 - Hatfield, UK - Slam Dunk Festival
MAY 30 - Syracuse, NY - St. Joseph's Health Amphitheater at Lakeview**
MAY 31 - Mansfield, MA - Xfinity Center
JUN 04 - Quebec City, QC - Centre Videotron
JUN 05 - Montreal, QC - Centre Bell
JUN 06 - Toronto, ON - Budweiser Stage
JUN 08 - Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre
JUN 10 - Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena
JUN 12 - Memphis, TN - FedExForum
JUN 14 - Orlando, FL - Amway Center
JUN 15 - West Palm Beach, FL - iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre
JUN 17 - Charlotte, NC - PNC Music Pavilion
JUN 18 - Alpharetta, GA - Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
JUN 20 - Birmingham, AL - Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
JUN 22 - Dallas, TX - Dos Equis Pavilion
JUN 23 - Austin, TX - Germania Insurance Amphitheater
OCT 09 - Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
OCT 16 - Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival




More From Brooklyn Vegan