Err, Slowcore forerunners…?

Codeine band

STANDARD DISCLAIMER: Every post on this site is meant to be a constantly evolving diary of my musical views. Therefore, any and all posts should be considered incomplete at any given time.

Forget about early Belle and Sebastian, THIS is SAD BASTARD music. Just something about the way they hit those big notes and hold them, all at about the slowest pace you can make a rock song. Just stretch it OUT and really feel it. Maximizing minimalism, this.


Codeine Frigid Stars album cover

Frigid Stars

Release Year: 1990
My Rating: B+

Love the massive guitar sound, and the songs are great! Can't help but be reminded of Spiderland, even though this came first. It's like some strange and beautifully pathetic marriage of Slint and Black Sabbath...

HIGHLIGHTS: "D", "New Year's", "Cave-In"

Codeine The White Birch album cover

The White Birch

Release Year: 1994
My Rating: A

Once again, gorgeous songs, and they reach the majestic glacial here. No other album quite like this...

HIGHLIGHTS: "Sea", "Loss Leader", "Vacancy", "Tom"


Codeine Barely Real EP cover

Barely Real EP

Release Year: 1992
My Rating: B

Nothing quite as memorable as either of their LP's (with the exception of the piano instrumental "W"), but all in all it's a solid little slab of Codeine.

HIGHLIGHTS: "Realize", "Barely Real"

Codeine When I See the Sun cover

When I See the Sun (rarities compilation)

Release Year: 2012
My Rating: A

Great box set! Collects all of the rarities, and adds a bunch of previously unreleased demos and otherwise lost tracks. "This is the song that got us on Sub Pop" » and ya didn't release it until now??? It's the faster tracks like "Hydroplane" and "Skeletons" that really give an interesting glimpse into Codeine's creative evolution.

HIGHLIGHTS: "Skeletons", "Corner Store", "Hydroplane", "Broken-Hearted Wine"

Codeine What About the Lonely? cover

What About the Lonely? (live album)

Release Year: 2013
My Rating: B+

Nice live document of a band that was too short-lived.



coming eventually I suppose…

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Here’s my totally scientific method for grading albums. I’m sure you’ll find it revolutionary:

  • A+: CLASSIC album – I revere this bad boy.
  • A: GREAT album – a repeat listener from start to finish.
  • B: GOOD album – I’ll probably listen again at some point.
  • C: MEH album – not awful, but I have no desire to listen again.
  • D: BAD album – not sure why anyone would listen to this.
  • F: TRULY AWFUL album – monumentally bad and offense against music.

Gradations between letters (A-/B+/B-/C+) simply indicate it’s somwhere between the two letters.