Monday, November 15, 2010

Codeine - Realize

Sub Pop sort of changed the landscape for the 7”, at least for me. They used to be these ephemeral little things, quickly recorded, distributed, and forgotten. They were for 15 year old girls and DJs. Then Sub Pop came along with the “Singles Club”, announced limited releases, put them on colored vinyl, grabbed some decent bands from other labels to do guest recordings, and then packaged them up nicely, making them instant collectibles. I was a huge fan. I signed up in 1991, about when enrollment peaked, and stuck with it through 1993, though I dropped out before the bitter end.  Coughing up $35 bucks seemed like too much trouble at the time, there were a few duds in there, and I was constantly moving.  But The Singles Club got me buying 7” records. Not just the collectibles, but the throw-aways too. I like that bands experiment a lot more in this format, and you find stuff that wouldn’t normally get released on a full-length album. 

This is the July 1992 Sub Pop Singles Club release. Codeine is credited with being the first “slowcore” band, which makes their name quite appropriate.  This is some sloooow, and too much of it will certainly make you sleepy. Slow was about the last thing I was looking for in 1992. Slow was OK, as long as “heavy” went with it, but this is slow accompanied only by “sad”. I think this got played two or three times at most, and then put away until yesterday, when I randomly pulled it off the shelf (that’s the selection process for this endeavor, by the way, though there will be exceptions for requests and holidays). Listening again after 18 years though, it’s pretty good, and I’m glad to have listened to it again. “Realize” is methodical and deliberate, but it works. Despite the slowness, there’s some energy and life in the guitars and vocals. The B-side, “Broken Hearted Wine” feels more plodding, and the nasal vocals make it more whine than wine.

Good news for the day; my old Harmon Kardon turntable is back in action. Thanks to John for the loaner!

A: Realize
B: Broken Hearted Wine



  1. Codeine was one of my all time favorite bands. I don't have this 7", although I know the song really well. The first time I heard it was on Hofstra University radio, 88.1 on Long Island, which was the college radio station of choice for us around that time period. I recorded this song off the radio and kept it for a long time on a cassette tape till I bought the EP (on CD, not vinyl, though.) I was really into weirdly slow and sad music...and all the shoegazer stuff that was getting big around that time as well. Codiene were cool because they were a one-trick pony that did their trick pretty effectively.

  2. Hey John,
    You'll like the next one.