Porridge Radio— Every Bad
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
” I’m tired to death, let’s argue,” intones Porridge Radio frontwoman Dana Margolin, in the opening moments of their launching album Every Bad Few first lines this year have felt quite so appropriate– of late it feels as though we’ll all be arguing up until we die (if coronavirus doesn’t get us initially).
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Margolin delights in dispute, or rather, she appears amazed by exactly what drives us to it. Early single “Sugary food” analyzes the bliss of leaving old grudges behind, while “Give/Take” rollicks along with a push-pull motion as Margolin concerns social niceties, particularly those required on females: “How do I say ‘no’ without being a bitch?” she demands. At times she’s right up in your face, snarling; somewhere else she seems like she’s analyzing her nails as she provides lyrics in a slow, sardonic drawl.
But then comes “Lilac”, with its consistent chug of guitar and rush of strings. “I want us to improve,” Margolin pleads, “I desire us to be kinder to ourselves.” Her voice grows to a shriek and the refrain swells until it threatens to overwhelm. Every Bad is a giving up of whatever it is that keeps us from baring our souls, and a letting loose of frustration at how, like kids riding a carousel, we’re all simply going round in circles.
Code Orange— Underneath
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Code Orange’s posturing over fellow metal bands is antagonistic at finest. Yet their brand-new album, Underneath, and its 2017 predecessor, Permanently, will convince you it’s called for. Both are phenomenally ambitious records; if the Grammy-nominated Forever was their blistering hellscape, Underneath is a glitchy, commercial wasteland.
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A variety of tracks are loaded with distorted, often indecipherable vocals, but the US band have picked to leave other locations tidy, with more melody and greater calm in between the maelstroms. “Swallowing the Bunny Whole” or “Erasure Scan”, the latter with its pistol start, are circumstances of them straining at their very limits, seeing simply how far they can go.
Underneath is about peeling back the layers and finding what’s beneath the surface area– whether you like what you discover, or not.