"I Feel Like Nothing". Codeine, When I See The Sun.

"I feel like nothing", Stephen Immerwahr deferentially proffers on the standout title track to the Barely Real EP and although NYC dreamweavers Codeine may never have made the seismic splash their featherweight, if stylistically and thematically hefty back catalogue – here remastered – indubitably ought to have, the very release of this here thing intimates a greater cultural relevance than perhaps initially envisaged and with it, a subsequent longevity extended beyond that which they may once have deemed. It's like an artist whose canvases skyrocket in value in the wake of premature demise although quite thankfully, the band still scuff heels upon the surface of our earth and better yet, they've just reconvened.

For to let these recordings fester in deplorably few record collections or embellish only the odd scarcely frequented webpage would represent an outright tragedy. Oft branded slowcore or sadcore effectively depending on the mood of any given track (the spectrum of emotion on offer over the course of this collection is relatively limited as it flickers from sombre to suicidal), theirs is a discography to transcend such frivolous categorisation in the same way that it emancipates itself from the shackles of temporal compartmentalisation. It is, and indeed sounds like, "nothing" else neither then nor now and is perfection etched into rigid ridges of blackened wax. These are records to let run; to smoulder slowly; to ignite the wicks of wild inspiration: were you to exhume a trove documenting the largely characterless decade that was the '90s, with the benefit of hindsight you'd feel pretty peeved were these not locked up beyond mud-encrusted padlock.

Approaching these unassuming opera in chronological order, up first is a full-length entitled Frigid Stars. A languid affair released via German label Glitterhouse Records back in 1990, slack could be more appositely affixed to its core although despite Immerwahr's first drawls concerning: "D for effort", it's an expertly accomplished deluge of comedown desolation. Terribly wretched, its cymbals sting; its guitars crash; its dilapidated bass rumble astounds as it teeters on the precarious verge of collapse. 3 Angels is a particularly enlightening slab of melancholic grandeur, whilst New Year's is fresher than the verso of the most verdant leaf. It couldn't be endowed with a more germane name.

Fast-forward four years and you may find yourself bathing in an only moderately more mature torrent of despondence: sit beneath The White Birch and you'll soon be weeping like some majestic deciduous, such is its unremitting power to incur some hindering paranoia over something inconsequential while under the influence of something soothing and soporific. Codeine itself, perhaps. Sea is awash with clunky, sketchily scribed nuances; twitchy impulses of guitar creep around minor key morbidity on Vacancy; and Kitchen Light sounds like the slow and painful corrosion of porcelain homeware set to song.

Their best intentions and the rawest of collective emotions are condensed down into the scatty brew that is the intermediary Barely Real EP however: whether it be the baroque portent of W., the heady shoegaze delirium of Jr, the Pixies-ish clank and plod of Promise Of Love or the gloriously impractical pop of Hard To Find that's propelled by some quite prosaic drones, it is unquestionably their finest recording. A doomy, drudgy work of impeccable beauty, this and indeed the entirety of the discography is startlingly excellent. Go overdose on these please...