Review: His Name is Codeine – The Only Truth is Music


(CD, self-released, 2013)

Despite of the band’s (partially) sharing the name with the genre-defining NYC formation Codeine, the Scottish psychdedelic smear-rock unit His Name is Codeine is not that cathartic and sorrowful in its delivery. Quite the opposite, actually. It is a thumping, foot-stomping downer rock in the vein of True Widow, except with an exclusively female vocals with the Scots. It is the post-apocalyptic vision of deserts filled with modified muscle cars equipped with machineguns and rocket launchers. When the cars roll slow, the bass guitar is unstoppable and the drums are relentless, endlessly giving a ritual beat set for the smoke ceremonies of the greaser tribes of the Great American Deserts, equipped with Beetle baja buggies and M-16’s.

Which is not to say that “The Only Truth is Music” is only filled with scummy motorhead anthems. It also has a more delicate side, like a dreamy, almost lullaby-ish “Replica Gun” which waves up and down in delicate tides, like the state of drunkedness on the beach drinking red wine on a summer evening -> night. Next up is “The Measure of Your Misery” with the amazing humming organ drones that snake throughout the song that rolls forward like a forgotten Wild West styled folk rock anthem of the decades lost in time. And then, to top the album off, two psychedelic juggernauts come into the spotlight and practically steal the show: “I’m Not In Love” builds the amplification from the whimsically sung tune into the sabbathian wall of fuzz and string power. The closing piece, “Medal” could practically be the lost Bardo Pond, with them slowly building tension with otherworldly feedback and sustained, frosted drones  and then releasing the flood of distortion and wah-wah into a volcanic explosion of lysergic energy in all its amplifier worshipping glory. Dig deep into the world of psychedelic shoegaze with His Name is Codeine – you won’t be disappointed (yeah, that’s a pretty lame tagline I know it)!


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