Plus Stephen Brodsky
American indie rock band formed in New York in 1989 by members Stephen Immerwahr (vocal, bass), Chris Brokaw(drums) and John Engle (guitar). Codeine pioneered theslowcore and sadcore subgenres of indie rock, but with a more experimental attitude than other bands in the genre, such as Low, Idaho and Red House Painters. The band’s original tone, marked by slow tempos, Immerwahr’s nasal and apathetic vocals, and Engle’s ringing Telecaster, did not evolve much during their career.
Codeine released their first album Frigid Stars on the German label Glitterhouse in 1990. The album was released on Sub Pop the following year.
Their second release, the Barely Real EP was issued in 1992. Immerwahr rejected several of the songs after the recording session. Some of these songs were re-recorded for the final album. The song W. is a solo performance on piano by David Grubbs (of Bastro, Squirrel Bait and Gastr Del Sol). A somewhat different full-band version of the song appears on Codeine’s next album, but titled Wird.
Brokaw left the band after the release of Barely Real to play full-time with his other band Come. He was replaced by Douglas Scharin of the band Rex.
Codeine’s next and final release was the full-length album The White Birch, released in 1994. David Grubbs also participated on the album. After this release the band broke up. Stephen Immerwahr has since then been playing with the band Raymond, while Douglas Scharin continued in June of 44 and later HIM.