Codeine: Classic or Dud?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
I lean towards Dud. They had some great moments, but I think they deserve some scathing criticism as well. Like Slint. Indulge me.

Chris, Sunday, 19 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

they were a bit too high-energy for me, those moments when they went from 4 beats per minute to 5 beats per minute nearly floored me every time.

keith, Sunday, 19 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Well, they were okay. I always thought if they played a bit faster they'd sound alot better, which, would be totally against their gimmick. The White Birch album is good to listen to in a thunderstom, and Realize is a good song.

jel, Sunday, 19 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Search: "Dandelion Wine" off the SubPop Peel Sessions, and the cover of Joy Division's "Atmosphere" on the tribute disc. I bought "Frigid Stars" on the strength of the two and was let down. What I've heard from The White Birch is substantially better tho. The fuzz on FS tended for me to drown their gift for haunting melody.

Sterling Clover, Sunday, 19 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

two years pass...
i made a final effort to get into these chaps tonight, but it didn't work. i love the cover of "the white birch", so i really wanted to like the music within. i just find them...brittle....lacking in grace. they remind me of bedhead: that kind of raw sounding slo-core, but just not as good. oh well.

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Wednesday, 31 December 2003 02:47 (eighteen years ago) link

Classic for sure. Second Chance from Frigid Stars is so amazing. I like the EP the best myself. Couldn't get into The White Birch though.

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Wednesday, 31 December 2003 12:54 (eighteen years ago) link

We're all just small hard peas.

scott m (mcd), Wednesday, 31 December 2003 18:29 (eighteen years ago) link

one month passes...
As part of my current slowcore/dream pop phase, I got The White Birch (the catalyst, actually, for the phase was winning it on ebay). I don't think I like it as much as the Bedhead record, but I haven't listened to it as much yet. The predictability of the rhythms they use is a bit of a drag; wish they'd at at least change the patterns, even if they don't speed up any (which would make them sound like who, early Seam? Bleh.)

"Smoking Room" / "Loss Leader" / "Sea" / "Wird" are all particularly gorgeous. The sudden shift to loudness on "Sea" scared the hell out of me the first time I listened.

Ian Johnson (orion), Friday, 13 February 2004 20:52 (eighteen years ago) link

never saw this one...

search:
"realize" "sea" "tom" "w" "pea"(incl. the bitch magnet version) "ides"

destroy:
their cover of seam's "new year", ugh. don't get me started on this or else hstencil will come by to kick my ass.

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 13 February 2004 20:59 (eighteen years ago) link

also: early seam rules, you hippy.

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 13 February 2004 21:00 (eighteen years ago) link

hi gygax!

I wish Steve was still making music.

hstencil, Friday, 13 February 2004 21:02 (eighteen years ago) link

GYGAG: THE ONLY SEAM I HAVE IS TWO 7"s AND ONE IS AWESOME AND ONE SUCKS (THE FIRST ONE, FAG.)

WHAT DO I DO?

Ian Johnson (orion), Friday, 13 February 2004 21:03 (eighteen years ago) link

this band was pretty awesome live at CB's.

Russ, Friday, 13 February 2004 21:14 (eighteen years ago) link

Ian -- you read my AMG reviews and decide. Go forth.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 13 February 2004 21:19 (eighteen years ago) link

GYGAG: THE ONLY SEAM I HAVE IS TWO 7"s AND ONE IS AWESOME AND ONE SUCKS (THE FIRST ONE, FAG.)
WHAT DO I DO?

WHICH ONES DO YOU HAVE? I RECOMMEND HEADSPARKS ("ATARI" IS THE BEST SONG ON THERE) OR THEIR COVER OF BREAKING CIRCUS' "DRIVING THE DYNAMITE TRUCK".

gyfag! (gygax!), Friday, 13 February 2004 21:22 (eighteen years ago) link

no offense Ned but I wish AMG had Heather's reviews of those.

gyfag! (gygax!), Friday, 13 February 2004 21:23 (eighteen years ago) link

*weeps*

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 13 February 2004 21:24 (eighteen years ago) link

"gyfag!"?

hstencil, Friday, 13 February 2004 21:25 (eighteen years ago) link

i am gay.

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 13 February 2004 21:29 (eighteen years ago) link

so?

hstencil, Friday, 13 February 2004 21:32 (eighteen years ago) link

whatever, Joel.
just leave him alone.

Russ, Friday, 13 February 2004 21:33 (eighteen years ago) link

okay i'm no longer gay.

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 13 February 2004 21:35 (eighteen years ago) link

hahahahaha!

hstencil, Friday, 13 February 2004 21:35 (eighteen years ago) link

okay, ned.

the 7"s i have are "kernel" & "granny 9x"

Ian Johnson (orion), Friday, 13 February 2004 21:36 (eighteen years ago) link

granny 9x is great how it has that whole build up at the end. the b-side of that escapes my memory at the moment.

is the kernel a 2x7"? you got gyped if not because you're missing one of their best songs.

ps: Russ, much love.

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 13 February 2004 21:39 (eighteen years ago) link

the "Days of Thunder" 7" is great too.

no love for me, *sniff*

hstencil, Friday, 13 February 2004 21:40 (eighteen years ago) link

like you have to ask...

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 13 February 2004 21:41 (eighteen years ago) link

kernel is not a 2x7" :( but i only paid $1 for it, so i don't feel too terrible.

Ian Johnson (orion), Friday, 13 February 2004 21:48 (eighteen years ago) link

Frigid Stars LP is classic. Actually, all of it's classic. I used to listen to Rex a lot, too.

scott m (mcd), Friday, 13 February 2004 21:57 (eighteen years ago) link

Codeine should be renamed Owneine, because they own.

Stupid (Stupid), Saturday, 14 February 2004 15:40 (eighteen years ago) link

Fridged Stars is good but slow

Aja (aja), Saturday, 14 February 2004 15:43 (eighteen years ago) link

Frigis Stars and most of Barely Real are classic. I'm kinda not into The White Birch. I like their version of "New Years" better than Seam's even though I was way more into Seam for the most part.

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Saturday, 14 February 2004 16:26 (eighteen years ago) link

Hi Johnny!

I got Probot.

Chris Brokaw sings almost the same way the guy from Codeine does.

Aja (aja), Saturday, 14 February 2004 16:28 (eighteen years ago) link

Chris Brokaw?? Is he not the guy from Codeine??

I still haven't heard Probot but I still definitely want to hear the tunes with Mike Dean and Kurt Brecht if nothing else. Good stuff or no??

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Saturday, 14 February 2004 16:44 (eighteen years ago) link

Hey Aja didn't you say your birthday was Valentine's Day? Happy Birthtines.

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Saturday, 14 February 2004 16:45 (eighteen years ago) link

It's my birthday.

Yes Chris Brokaw is from Codeine.

You might like Probot. But I have to say, there was at least on track where I yelled, "Slayer" and then started laughing. Just because I thought it sounded like something Slayer would have written.

Aja (aja), Saturday, 14 February 2004 16:51 (eighteen years ago) link

Wow. Nothing has ever made me yell "Slayer!!" other than Slayer.

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:01 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah. I think when I heard the first song I yelled, "Dave Lombardo?"

Aja (aja), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:05 (eighteen years ago) link

I also thought about Ramstein too.

Aja (aja), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:07 (eighteen years ago) link

I used to like the little album the best cause I loved "Realize" so much. But Frigid Stars is the classic one for sure. For some reason, instead of making me want to listen to Codeine, this is making me want to hear Idaho - Year After Year.

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:19 (eighteen years ago) link

Is there no Idaho thread of any sort??

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:20 (eighteen years ago) link

I've only heard frigid stars. I like it, but like I said, it's slow.

Aja (aja), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:21 (eighteen years ago) link

Is there no Idaho thread of any sort??

Remember what you said to me?

DO A SEARCH

Aja (aja), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:22 (eighteen years ago) link

Well, I did. I didn't find one. Thought I'd ask too.

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:29 (eighteen years ago) link

You keep saying "but its slow"

You say that like, either we all didn't notice, or you don't like it.

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:34 (eighteen years ago) link

"Roman Dog Bird" - I like it CAUSE its slow.

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:36 (eighteen years ago) link

Ok.

Look, Dave plays all of these on the album:

DRUMS, GUITAR, BASS, PAN FLUTE, VIBRASLAP, VIOLA, SOUSAPHONE, AND EVER OTHER F*CKIN' INSTRUMENT

What is a pan flute, vibraslap and a sousaphone? There's VIOLA?!!!! AND HE PLAYS IT?!

You say that like, either we all didn't notice, or you don't like it.

I usually don't like slow songs, but I like Codeine, so it seems weird.

Aja (aja), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:36 (eighteen years ago) link

PAN FLUTE!! He plays the pan flute?! I must get this album and hear this. Haha!! Good ol' Dave

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:38 (eighteen years ago) link

WHAT IS THAT???

Aja (aja), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:39 (eighteen years ago) link

The pan flute is just a pan flute!!

Hey, lets not ruin the Codeine thread like we did that other one. I'll check out the Probot album and get back to ya on it though.

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:42 (eighteen years ago) link

Ok.

Back on Codeine

Maybe if Chris Brokaw didn't drum so slowly, it wouldn't sound so slow. He's a much better guitar player.

Aja (aja), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:44 (eighteen years ago) link

Nah, Codeine was supposed to be slowwww. That was what made them Codeine. I think they got Doug Scharin in on drums on the last album if I remember correctly. Scharin was a great drummer but I never liked any of the albums I heard him play on. June Of '44 had a few good tunes from what I remember and he just ripped the skin(s).

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:53 (eighteen years ago) link

The guy's voice could put you to sleep

Aja (aja), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:55 (eighteen years ago) link

Doug Scharin??

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:57 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't know his name.

The singer!

Aja (aja), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:57 (eighteen years ago) link

Oh. Yeah. For that whole slow-core genre I thought Codeine almost seemed aggressive. I mean compare Codeine to Bedhead or Low or that Blue Moods Of Spain album.

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Saturday, 14 February 2004 18:00 (eighteen years ago) link

They also had long songs, if I remember correctly.

Aja (aja), Saturday, 14 February 2004 18:01 (eighteen years ago) link

Codeine were definitely more pissed off/hopeless than Low or Bedhead. Maybe that counts as aggressive.

Ian Johnson (orion), Saturday, 14 February 2004 18:03 (eighteen years ago) link

Seriously, that "I miss your smile, its been a while" part of 'Second Chance' just straight up kills me. Its so perfectly hopeless ya know??

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Saturday, 14 February 2004 18:07 (eighteen years ago) link

codeine singer = immerwahr

the surface noise (electricsound), Sunday, 15 February 2004 03:19 (eighteen years ago) link

two years pass...
Stephen Immerwahr, such a great singer.
do you guys know what's he's doing these days? is he still into music?
couldnt find nothing via allmusic...

orange countdown, Wednesday, 19 April 2006 17:51 (sixteen years ago) link

he teaches. he is still into music but i don't think he's played music in quite a while.

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 18:22 (sixteen years ago) link

thanx..
teaches? what does he teach?
i'm curious...

orange countown, Wednesday, 19 April 2006 18:23 (sixteen years ago) link

dunno, but it ain't music.

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 19 April 2006 18:25 (sixteen years ago) link

"see you smile,make it sad, take it oh, so bad" -D - so depressive...

and that "broken hearted wine" tune they did on the peel session, is the saddest song ever, with just one guitar as a background...it's one of my favourites by them.

blame jerry, Wednesday, 19 April 2006 18:30 (sixteen years ago) link

five years pass...

back: http://www.atpfestival.com/events/ibymlondon2012.php

Jamie_ATP, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 16:14 (ten years ago) link

three months pass...

and touring Europe, and reissuing their albums in a box set. happy.

ban this sick stunt (anagram), Monday, 20 February 2012 10:48 (ten years ago) link

Box set now available for pre-order from Numero. First 500 copies have an extra 7'' single, not sure if they're still available... http://www.numerogroup.com/catalog_detail.php?uid=01354

brain (krakow), Monday, 27 February 2012 11:18 (ten years ago) link

Is there going to be an option for just the LPs or just the CDs?

Gonjasufjanstephen O'Malley (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 27 February 2012 19:53 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, not really sure what the point is of CDs that repeat the same material as the double LPs. A download code would have been cheaper and more practical. This seems unnecessary. Plus, the only one I really love is Frigid Stars and my copy of that has held up just fine. Will probably pass on this.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Monday, 27 February 2012 22:58 (ten years ago) link

I believe not - I think it will be all or nothing, both with the box set and separate reissues, which I think are scheduled too.

brain (krakow), Tuesday, 28 February 2012 10:26 (ten years ago) link

Tour dates!

ban this sick stunt (anagram), Tuesday, 28 February 2012 10:32 (ten years ago) link

I'll be at the London Mogwai-curated ATP at Alexandra Palace, in case anyone else is heading to that...

brain (krakow), Tuesday, 28 February 2012 10:44 (ten years ago) link

I believe not - I think it will be all or nothing, both with the box set and separate reissues, which I think are scheduled too.

Stupid, stupid move. How does it benefit anyone to force consumer to buy the set with two different formats with the same material? This makes the set more expensive, in a completely needless way. You'd think you'd end up selling more copies by offering a choice. They've certainly lost a sale to me.

stan this sick bunt (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 28 February 2012 14:06 (ten years ago) link

yeah this is bizarre

ban this sick stunt (anagram), Tuesday, 28 February 2012 14:15 (ten years ago) link

Although saying that, CDs are so cheap to produce I doubt having a download code instead would have led to any appreciable reduction in the price. You can think of it as they're chucking in the CDs for free if you like.

ban this sick stunt (anagram), Tuesday, 28 February 2012 14:21 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

Anyone catch their first reunion show in Seattle last week? Nothing's surfaced on youtube as of now.

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Friday, 13 April 2012 13:41 (ten years ago) link

I would have gone to this had it not been the same night as Radiohead.

ma ck ro ma ck ro (mackro mackro), Sunday, 15 April 2012 06:16 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

still no show reports? seeing them tonight, am very excited

here they are last week at ATP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Kq4OWX1_wk

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Wednesday, 30 May 2012 09:41 (ten years ago) link

I wasn't able to make it to ATP, very sadly.

My friend, who knew how much I was wanting to see them, sent me a text just after their set saying simply...

"Oh, krakow!"

Upon prodding, he was decidedly enthusiastic.

only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Wednesday, 30 May 2012 10:05 (ten years ago) link

Well, that was really great. No major surprises, just that endless slow unfurling. They encored with "Broken Hearted Wine" which was new to me (it's not on the LPs) but a definite classic. Had a quick word with them afterwards and they confirmed this reunion is only to promote the box set, there are no plans for new material. Which may be just as well tbh.

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Thursday, 31 May 2012 09:32 (ten years ago) link

I haven't listened to Codeine in ... since Frigid Stars came out. I was embarrassed to own it, it was uncool. Now that I am no longer a heroin abuser I can enjoy it.

two months pass...

"To be one mile high
Then I would kill you all"

Chilling. This band just sounds so fucking lonely.. Love'em though.

Mule, Monday, 27 August 2012 21:57 (nine years ago) link

A band I can always go back to and find something new. Really love them.

Though I wasn't "there" at the time, so I'm sure that lack of baggage contributes to their longevity with me.

Austin, Tuesday, 28 August 2012 02:46 (nine years ago) link

eleven months pass...

No one I know but my brother and myself ever listens to this band. Which is a shame.

Most perfect, self-contained discography ever?

Mule, Thursday, 8 August 2013 22:45 (eight years ago) link

I got White Birch maybe as long as 8 years ago and never got anything else. I LOVE "Loss Leader", one of the ultimate slow sad 90s songs.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 8 August 2013 23:14 (eight years ago) link

three years pass...

"Loss Leader" never fails.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 26 September 2016 20:57 (five years ago) link

Need to get more of this band.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 26 September 2016 20:57 (five years ago) link

Go for the Numero box set, it has everything. you won't regret it.

"Broken Hearted Wine" still the one that never fails for me

heaven parker (anagram), Tuesday, 27 September 2016 07:39 (five years ago) link

I bought the Numero box set a few months ago, it's a thing of beauty but I've not been in the headspace to delve in since.

michaellambert, Tuesday, 27 September 2016 09:16 (five years ago) link

five years pass...

Unreleased album from 1992 on its way:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CfE-AU7pJOL/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Wednesday, 22 June 2022 14:07 (one week ago) link

O_O

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm ANTIFA and I vote. (Austin), Wednesday, 22 June 2022 15:40 (one week ago) link

I read this book called "Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping," by Paco Underhill, and early on he mentions a detail-oriented assistant whose job is basically to stand around supermarkets and observe how various people shop. Then he drops a mention that this person used to be in a '90s band called Codeine. (!) From an interview with Underhill I found:

What kinds of habits—and what kinds of people—make for good observation?

Over the last 34 years I sent out crews of trackers all over the world. When I’m in an environment observing, I have to be very careful after doing it for an hour—I haven’t seen what I need to see. It’s often the second or third day when you really see and understand. So a lot of it is a Zen-like state of patience.

One man did 500 missions for me. He had a short career as a guitar player in a prominent early 90s band called Codeine. It had its own distinct beat. He became a kindergarten teacher. I found him doing substitute teaching and he was so patient and so observant and so rhythmic, with a slow steady beat, and he was so empathetic.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 15:57 (one week ago) link

I assume it's John Engle, then:

John has been doing fieldwork for my company, Envirosell, for more than ten years, in between working as a kindergarten teacher. Trained to monitor five-year-olds, does he have patience? Oh, yeah. He also just
completed his two-hundredth fieldwork assignment. He’s of medium height, with brown hair, a spare build, crinkles in the corners of his eyes and big broad feet. He has no trouble standing all day.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 16:02 (one week ago) link

thanks josh, i'm glad he's found his niche

there's a bit of background on the forthcoming album here:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CfPiTihuGKE/

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Sunday, 26 June 2022 16:39 (six days ago) link

Seems to be mostly early versions of songs that were later reworked as their final album The White Birch:

https://numerogroup.com/products/dessau

I love that album and I think it's probably unimprovable upon but we shall see

joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Sunday, 26 June 2022 16:50 (six days ago) link

i make it 4 songs that later appeared on The White Birch, 2 songs that were on Barely Real, plus 2 others (I Wonder, Something New) that i think were probably on that numero box

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Sunday, 26 June 2022 17:27 (six days ago) link

I loved Frigid Stars when it came out, it was an escape from stupid bombast and auteurism.

Then I threw it away, embarrassed about my slowcore period. I think I paid too much attention to other people's opinions.

Dug it out and enjoyed it, now I'm revisiting this 90's tendency.

I Met Mr. Mathis (I M Losted), Sunday, 26 June 2022 20:08 (six days ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.