Concert Reviews · Reviews

Album Review: Welles Gives You Sonic “Codeine”

Codeine is a good name for Welles new EP. This pain-killing medicine can turn addictive to the point that, what was meant to numb your physical hurt, numbed your mind, as well. In Welles new EP, psychedelic guitars and scenic sitars summon a world of mutual self-destruction and sympathy.

When you are in pain, the urgency to get out of your hurt might override the need to actually heal; a title message throughout Codeine. Often, we want the pain of a wound to leave without recognizing that true surgery/ healing involves going through pain; and even letting yourself feel worse before you can feel better. Such an idea feels perplexing to understand, which is why I marvel that Welles could even encapsulate it in five tracks As they strain guitars like one would pasta, you just feel every emotion cooking inside lead singer Jehsea Wells’ voice. This man has been blessed with vocals that can groan and yelp like a beast a caught in a trap, which is, in some ways, what self-destruction and addiction feel like. While some may believe that “chaos” or bad decisions are not addictive; our choices are reflective of our habits and our habits are reflective of our state of being. From “Life Like Mine” to “Are You Free Like Me”, Welles sets up that this is an EP about having a bond with your misery; and, whether you like its company or not, feeling like its presence is better than complete loneliness. Pain can be a defining partner, and I cannot say that I have heard too many EP’s that are so sonically tuned to emanate hurt.From “Hold Me Like I’m Leaving” or “Into Ashes”, you feel like Wells is being cradled and crushed by anxiety through drums, keys, and chords that bash like battle cries. Yet, while war is glorified for making heroes, for those that fight, either physically or spiritually, you never feel like you have won.

I have to say Codeine is an exceptional EP because it is rock n’ roll crafted, cut, and calloused according to the talent and torment of Jeshea Wells. Again, his voice is the ripe blend of soft and sharp like, a man struggling to regain virtue. Thus, you walk away from the EP lamenting that it is not a full album because it enraptures you with its epic sound and even more epic initiative. Self-destruction is just a toxic relationship with yourself that may be inspired or inspire your bonds with others, but, as Jehsea ultimately learns, does not avoid you need a better one with yourself. For More Information On Welles And To Buy Codeine Click Here.