Codeine, Brokeback | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Sun., July 1, 7 p.m. 2012
Price: $15
The muddy, angsty, brooding sound of the early 90s is still proving very marketable, and slowcore pioneers Codeine (or "sadcore," depending on your mood) have joined the likes of the Afghan Whigs, Soundgarden, and My Bloody Valentine on the reunion train, mainly to promote When I See the Sun—a six-LP, three-CD reissue by the Numero Group that includes the band's entire catalog and then some, with singles, demos, and Peel sessions, plus the usual slick packaging. The New York trio's debut album, Frigid Stars—first released by German label Glitterhouse in 1990 and later picked up by Sub Pop, who would handle the rest of the band's formal output—is as remote as its title suggests, creating tension as much with gaping pockets of negative space as with the aching, cracking vocals of bassist Stephen Immerwhar and heavy trudge of drummer Chris Brokaw and guitarist John Engle. Obviously influenced by the dark sounds of Joy Division and the like, Codeine inhabited a subgenre of indie rock well suited to twentysomething liberal-arts undergrads desperately in need of a respite from the grunge takeover. The band's other two substantial releases, the 1992 EP Barely Real and the 1994 full-length The White Birch, extend and refine the methodology of Frigid Stars with better production and songwriting flow—but the uneasiness, nervous fragility, and vulnerable, broken-down disjointed sound of that debut LP just begs you to break up with someone, anyone. —Kevin Warwick Brokeback opens.

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