Live Review: Code Orange Kids, Twitching Tongues, Broken Teeth and Esoteric Youth – The Star & Garter, Manchester – 26/03/2014

Any concern for lateness is instantly wiped by the thundering horror from Esoteric Youth. This local blackened hardcore mob has been slowly clambering up from the pit over the last year. There are moments when they utterly decimate the air in one fell swoop; straight to the point, fast furious songs. The most impressive parts however, are when they unleash songs with wide scope and influences. One song revels in a pulsating vacuum of post metal and noise. If there was one nagging point, it would be the mix in sound levels; whether this is intentional or not, it doesn’t balance itself well. Regardless, Esoteric Youth do well to impress. With a debut album currently in the works, and based on this performance, the band will capture attentive eyes further. (4/5)

Although I’m not the biggest Broken Teeth fan, I can’t deny the fact that they are a solid live band. The Manchester hardcore crew beef themselves up in a crossover thrash manner; a combo of riffs, riffs and yells. Although a small group of acolytes lap up their fury, you can’t help but feel too familiar with this scenario. Most hardcore bands in this style can only separate themselves from the pack with an added zing, which they seem to lack here. Whilst Broken Teeth keep the embers burning, there’s a sense you expect more from them. This is satisfactory for now though. (3.5/5)

If you want to add something different to your hardcore palette, then look no further than L.A.’s Twitching Tongues. The quintet’s brand of Type O Negative influenced hardcore is a curious thing to hear. In contrast to the recordings, Colin Young’s croons have a slight edge to them in the live setting. His pose is very commanding, and the shift from croon to growl is intriguing, if not cheesy for this reviewer’s tastes. Even though I have a mixed reaction to the vox, the saving grace is the sheer majestic power of the drums filling gloom into the room. This, combined with shearing guitars and bass, manages to keep my interest as it does with loyal fans. All in all, my curiosities have been answered. Despite uneasiness towards the vocal style, I concur that Twitching Tongues have a firm presence live, and are worth your attention. (3.5/5)

Do you ever wonder what it would be like seeing old hardcore bands like Bad Brains in their youth? A time when they had an unlimited amount of vicious energy, tackling you to the ground. The generations of today are envious of their elders in having seen such bands in their prime. This continues in a constant cycle, and without a doubt, the kids in future generations will be jealous at our generation’s witnessing of Code Orange Kids. The Pittsburgh troupe are on fire this evening, and cement themselves as to why they are one of the most important and fresh sounding hardcore/metal bands in recent memory.

Code Orange Kids have shrouded themselves in cryptic code over the last few months. Details on their upcoming sophomore LP have yet to be revealed; only a doctrine has laid the road for the eagerly anticipated fans to find out. Upon judging a new song tonight, the band isn’t shying away, but they’re evolving in their heaviness and weirdness. The sludgy metallic riffs squeal, the rhythms focus, and the ear throttling shouts ring. Past material on the other hand, including ‘V (My Body Is a Well)’ and ‘Nothing (The Rat)’, violently gut the atmosphere in trudge and doom. The dreamy ambient interludes help to soften the wound in calm…before the fog of war is lifted once more. Although few participate in the pit, it only matters so little. What matters more is the performance, and Code Orange Kids excel at this well. All the trudging fury riles itself upon closing song ‘Flowermouth (The Leech)’. Here they put every ounce of sweat to great use, with Twitching Tongues’ Colin Young shoutingly guiding them towards the end; Code Orange Kids bow out in rubble and debris. (4/5)

4/5

Words by Aaron Lohan (@ooran_loohan)

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