The Zoo, Brisbane QLD
March 10th, 2019
Supported by: Shackles & Descent
The atmosphere tonight is suffocating. No I mean, literally, it’s fucking hot mate. The Zoo tonight is an oppressive force, that makes you feel like you’re choking on the sweat of every single person in the room. So I guess in a way it’s the perfect atmosphere for the carnage scheduled to ensure on the stage.
Enfolding you in their warm embrace. Descent takes the stage with the kind of force that grabs ahold of your throat and does not let get. Playing some mixture of blackened hardcore, they never once let up in their need to crush you into absolute nothingness. The crowd response in kind by navigating the oppressive heat and banging their necks along endlessly as Descent march us all to the guillotine and chop off our heads.
In comparison, Shackles are perfectly fine. Playing a familiar brand of grindcore, they are good at what they do. Blasting through more songs than any brain will ever be capable of remembering, they certainly don’t lack for intensity as they cause many people in the venue to bang their head. However, it is also in many ways their undoing as the interest of the crowd wanes, as each song bleeds into another and you’re convinced it’s just the same song looped over and over again in a continuous never-ending loop.
But look overall, their songs are just kind of like your favourite bag of chips, I mean, yeah, the chips are great. But you’ve had them before.
Walking onto the stage to the sound of electronics, awash in red light as a projector loops various imagery over and over again. Code Orange don’t even waste time with introductions before they are grinding your face against the floor with their gloriously original take on hardcore. Each member of their band plays their part perfectly as they menace across the stage, with bassist Joe Goldman looking like he is one second away from fucking kill you.
Drummer Jami Morgan looms over the crowd tonight as the master of ceremonies – commanding the crowd to follow his orders throughout the brutality of ‘Kill Your Creator’ which sees a circle pit open up before devolving into a room of swinging limbs. The backdrops and lighting fuel the intensity by messing with your senses and elevating their sound beyond your atypical hardcore band.
I guess that’s the thing about this band. Everything is a bit off the wall. Whether it’s ‘The Hunt’ or ‘Real’ the songs on display tonight are a disorientating force that grabs you by the face and begs to suffocate you. Eric Balderose’s electronics add so much in terms of disorientating dynamics to their music, it’s a sight to behold in a live setting. Reba Meyers, in particular, shines on her cleans, which are out in full force on the stomping ‘Bleeding In The Blur’ prompting the closest thing this band as so far produced as an accessible hit and one of the standouts of the night that has the crowd singing every word back like the most essential anthem of our time.
By the time the final song ‘Forever’ is played. Code Orange has taken every single person in the crowd tonight and hollowed them out into an empty shell. The heat and music culminate in a moment of sheer ecstasy as the band crush your bones into powder and leave you wondering what you’re supposed to do with your life.
If their performance tonight was any indication, Code Orange have proven they are the future of hardcore.
Gig Review by Kaydan Howison @Unicorn_Christ