Formed in New York City in 1989, Codeine was an important member of the slowcore indie rock scene of the early 1990s. The band's sound was characterized by slow, prodding guitar lines, melancholic ambiance and the nasally vocals of lead singer Stephen Immerwahr. Alongside groups such as Galaxie 500, Low and Red House Painters, Codeine helped pioneer the slowcore and sadcore genres, using slow-burning and exploratory songs to build to occasional moments of crashing catharsis. The trio debuted in 1990 with Frigid Stars, the first of only two full-length LPs it would release in its brief run. In 1994, the group decided to call it quits, prompting its members to move on to a number of different projects, including original drummer Chris Brokaw collaborating with Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth.