From 1990 to 1994, New York City’s Codeine were making somnambulant waves on a musical landscape reeling from Sub Pop’s better known exports. The label’s first and most significant foray out of what had become the signature Sub Pop sound, Codeine were an anomaly among their loud “lo-fi” and super-compressed alt-rock peers, preferring an understated, elegant, and above all beautiful approach that recalled the slowness of opiate drug states. Codeine’s glacial tempos were never an end in themselves. Rather, the lethargic pace reflected a deliberate and meticulous approach to songcraft—an emphasis on restraint and space which amounted to a punk provocation and an entirely different path toward catharsis than the prevailing scream therapies of the day. 1991’s Frigid Stars LP, 1992’s Barely Real, and 1994’s The White Birch received much critical praise upon release, but Codeine dissolved before any of the hype carried over into the so-called “slow core” movement. All three albums have been subjected to our notoriously elaborate packaging and include in-depth liner notes and scads of unpublished photos. Faithfully restored from the original masters, each album is accompanied by a plethora of singles, demos, live recordings, and Peel Sessions—packaged as a double LP along with a CD of the same material. Additionally, an ultra deluxe box set of all three albums is available. The box set includes a 5’ x 1’ fold-out poster of the band’s complete discography and a tidy slipcase to house all three albums National Geographic-style.
Ltd to 500 bonus 45': NUM201.4: Codeine Pickup Song (live) b/w New Year's (live)