Codeine

Frigid Stars LP

Image of Codeine - Frigid Stars LP
Record Label
Numero Group

About this item

All three albums are subjected to Numero's notoriously elaborate packaging and detailed liner notes, including essays by Sub Pop’s Jonathan Poneman, Love Child’s Alan Licht, and the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd. The albums have been faithfully restored from the original masters, and are accompanied by a plethora of singles, demos, live recordings, and Peel sessions. Each album is packaged as a double album with a CD of the same material. 

"The cover of Frigid Stars sets the mood well -- a negative black and white shot of some stars, looking even more haunting as a result. As for the album, the tone isn't simply being cold or unemotional, but simply gripped by a deep black mood, where everything seems on the verge of suddenly going wrong or collapsing. There's actually a cryptic warmth in the slow tempos and feedback produced from the deliberate strumming and chords from John Engle and Chris Brokaw's guitars. It isn't the narcotic hush of Low -- there's actually a little more relative energy than that! -- or sludgy stoner rock à la Black Sabbath, but something else entirely. Bassist Stephen Immerwahr's vocals lend to that feeling, softly ruminative, sometimes straining, but never sounding self-important or whining (though sometimes the lyrics are creepily macabre -- check out the start of "Cave-In"). If one lets oneself go for the album's general feel, then it all flows together to make a touching, surprising experience, but those seeking variety aren't likely to be happy. It avoids sounding repetitious by virtue of the dynamics -- treat the entire album as an extended mood piece, and it works well. Engle's lead guitar work throws in enough heartbreakingly strong moments to help -- the sudden low swoop on "Pickup Song" is a standout, while the dark, forbidding drones on "Second Chance" are truly chilling. An interesting cover surfaces a few songs in -- "New Year's" (co-written by Bitch Magnet singer Sooyoung Park but not recorded by him until the first Seam album, Headsparks, two years later). Codeine here sound a touch cleaner than elsewhere on Frigid Stars, where the guitars can really sprawl when needed, but Brokaw's drumming and Immerwahr's great delivery mark it out as their version instead of merely a straightforward remake." Ned Raggett / All Music.

TRACK LISTING

Side A:
1. D
2. Gravel Bed
3. Pick Up Song
4. 3 Angels
5. New Year’s

Side B:
1. Second Chance
2. Cave-In
3. Cigarette Machine
4. Old Things
5. Pea

Side C:
1 Castle (SOS Demo)
2 Skeletons (SOS Demo)
3 Three Angels (SOS Demo)
4 Corner Store (SOS Demo)
5 Summer Dresses (SOS Demo)

Side D:
1 Pea (Acoustic)
2 Second Chance (Demo)
3 Pickup Song (Demo)
4 Cave-In (Demo)
5 Kitchen (SOS Demo)

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