8. CODEINE: ‘THE WHITE BIRCH’ (1994)
Codeine was a ‘Slow-core’ band consisting of Stephen Immerwahr (vocal, bass), Chris Brokaw (drums), and John Engle (guitar). Like Slint, their influence was greater than their commercial success, though Brokaw has since gone on to a successful solo career as musician and soundtrack composer.
: “I eventually had to give up listening to Codeine on the recommendation of friends, because I was clinically depressed, possibly suicidal and there was a clear link to the music.
“Codeine were a ‘slow-core’ band from the early 90s and would not have existed
if anti-depressants had been more readily available at the time. Their ethos is a rejection of exuberance and excitement in favour of a gentle, intimate and thoroughly depressed atmosphere with a simmering anger beneath it all.
“Codeine, the drug, is a derivative of Heroin and so the band were well named. They were deeply and dangerously addictive. After days of listening to Codeine I would walk about weeping. Reading Frederick Nietzsche on the life sapping dangers of melancholy and introspection finally got me onto detox. I now ration my Codeine carefully.”
Track: ‘Loss Leader’
For number 9 in Ewan’s top 10 albums please go here