Welles - Codeine

Review by Dom Vigil

Welles’ debut EP, Codeine couldn’t come at a more perfect time. Driven by warm, fuzzy guitars, psychedelic songwriting and introspective yet catchy lyricism, Codeine is a five song journey that has arrived just in time for spring and summer. This short, groovy EP with certainly launch the band into success with Governor's Ball and Bonnaroo coming up this summer.

Opening up Codeine is the self-deprecating yet incredibly warm single, “Life Like Mine.” Musically, this song is psychedelic - the guitars are twinkly and tangy and the ever-changing percussion keeps things groovy and fun - buy lyrically, this song searches deep in lines like, “How fucked up have you got to be to live a life like mine?” It shines a fun light on a dark topic, and will have you singing along before it comes to an end.

Things then transition easily to the second track, “Codeine,” which feels like a tip. Vocally, the song is relentless, yet tortured and tired. Much like “Life Like Mine,” the guitar tones in this track are spectacular, but where the opener feels twinkly and groovy, this track feels much more grungy and dirty. The next song, “Hold Me Like I’m Leaving” feels like a direct continuation and comedown of “Codeine.” Guitars buzz like bees throughout the background of the song while vocals really command things with powerful growls and incredible runs. That same tone can be heard in “Into Ashes” as well, although vocally, the fourth track soars even more, exploring stunning highs.

“Are You Feeling Like Me” closes out the EP by taking things back to the beginning thematically, but with a more ballad-like sound. Although things end on a more sleepy and slow tone compared to the wild beginning, it does feel rather well rounded. As a whole, Codeine is a solid, albeit short release that will take you on a wild ride in only five songs.

Rating: 4/5

Listen to "Life Like Mine"

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