Codes Are Ready To Launch

Apparently kids are going to hardcore shows again and singing along to songs and everything. Who knew? Evan van Zyl knew which is why he’s the one to fill us in on the debut EP of new hardcore/metalcore act Codes.



CODES has done something interesting to the Durban scene since their arrival. Now I realise that I am a twenty-one year old, going off like a thirty-something “scene” veteran, but I’ve been around for three years, going to shows and playing in bands. In what I can only describe as breathing a breath of fresh air into Durban, CODES have been one of the first few bands that I have seen attract 18 year olds into The Pub. Not only are they there, losing their shit, THEY’RE SINGING ALONG. How many times have you seen that happen in the last year? 


Now about the release: not straying too far from the hardcore formula, “EP 2017” presents three songs; all of which are fairly fast and heavy. What is notable however, is the song lengths. Within the genre of Hardcore, I find it more common to see songs face lengths of 1 – 2 minutes. (If Life Below’s Grim Reality EP is anything to go by) So when looking at the track listing and seeing a four minute opening song, I was intrigued to either hear innovation or a mess. What I was presented with though, was a realisation. The realisation that CODES can’t be lumped purely into the Hardcore box. (Labeling is pretty lame within music anyway, but I’m trying my best to describe things to you guys, okay?) If anything, I find CODES lending their stylistic influences to Metalcore. “What do you know about Metalcore?” You may ask. And I will I respond by telling you that I actually was alive between 2010 and 2013 and I was mocked only a few weeks ago for an old screen name involving a Bring Me The Horizon quote.


The three songs have a natural flow of ups and downs, presenting you with something new that still has the ability to feel familiar. Traditionally well structured, they give you a foresight for the upcoming sections of each song. Although lengthy, boredom in this listen is avoided by throwing in bridges and breakdowns into each song, steering clear of something that could feel too verse-chorus-verse-chorus orientated for longer Hardcore tracks.


Opening track, Sink or Swim finds frontman Matthew Olivier showing off his vocal chops in a melodic section presented with enough reverb to leave me envisioning him in a large room wailing away dramatically. This makes this song stand out as the most dynamic track on the release, tying together all the elements of CODES into somewhat of an epic. The other two tracks have a more straightforward approach, but it still brings all the half-time breaks and choruses about “Riding in Packs” that you could hope for. The vocal layering choice in “Revenge” also stands out, leaving in slight imperfections within the takes, creating a strong sense of authenticity. A somewhat raw sounding production approach aids these choices, and gives the release an interesting edge. In some instances really leaving the impression that you can hear the room it was recorded in, especially on the drum tracks.


Ultimately, it’s a 9 minute Hardcore EP with influences rooted in genres like Metalcore, which is sure to get you pumped up. However, I think if you really want to enjoy CODES to the full extent, swing by their next show and wrestle some sweaty teenagers for your chance to scream along into the microphone.


4 Responses to “Codes Are Ready To Launch”
  1. Mattyboy says:

    Such kind words!

    Honored to have been reviewed!

    God damn high fives all round.

  2. So glad to hear some form of metal music coming out of Durbs.
    Lekker. Looking forward to more!

  3. Can't Slam Dance With These Old Knees says:

    Fuck yeah! Makes me feel like I’m back in the White Room during the Uprising Festival 😀

  4. Norma Jean says:


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