Codeine When I See The Sun

Codeine When I See The Sun
At the time, there wasn't a term for the music recorded by Codeine. These days, they've been called one of the pioneers of slowcore, but when their debut album, Frigid Stars, was released back in 1990, their glacial starkness, punctuated by loud guitars, was a revelation. With each subsequent release, they refined their sound and then just stopped. They had simply run their course, called it a day in 1994 and left behind a near-perfect discography. But their legacy also lives on via the numerous bands they influenced, such as Songs: Ohia and Mogwai. When I See The Sun brings together everything the band recorded and sticks it in a lavish box on both vinyl and CD, with a bunch of extra tracks. Placing their entire output side by side does initially appear to lessen its impact, as it becomes apparent that Codeine didn't change much during their five years together ― all the songs are relentlessly slow and possess an emotional detachment verging on apathy. But there definitely is a progression from the early days to The White Birch, their swansong, even if it's a subtle one. That last album is starker and tenser than Barely Real, the EP that preceded it, and has a focus and clarity that make it hard to imagine that the band would be able to top it. Best of all, Codeine's music hasn't aged and could quite easily still fit into the scene they helped create 20 years ago. The additional material makes When I See The Sun well worth picking up because it includes a wealth of previously unreleased songs, plus everything from the numerous singles and compilations they contributed to. Not everything is topnotch though ― their attempt at covering Joy Division's "Atmosphere," for the best-forgotten A Means To An End tribute, falls particularly flat, although their Suicide cover is a great deal more successful. As a whole, this is simply a wonderful collection that should hopefully lead to Codeine getting the recognition they so richly deserve. (Numero Group)