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The best kept secret in music


"Fake The Golden Age - CD Review"

Ya' know, after listening to this one (Fake the Golden Age Lp) a few really is a fairly outstanding cd in that these guys seemed to wrestle me into a good mood in no time. Bring elements of Superdrag, The Damn Personals, The Lot Six, Foo Fighters, Oasis, Chisel, and Hey Mercedes together and ya' somewhat get what we're confronted with here. File Under: Heart-wrenchin', sensitive stuff, with a kick. Very refreshing band. - Deek McDeekula, 104.1

"Codetta : Fake the Golden Age: 2004"

My impression of Codetta is that they are the ultimate blue collar workers of rock and roll. Having attended many live shows from this Boston-based trio throughout 2004, I started to realize that each show seemed to sound slightly better than the previous one. This phenomenon does not come across as any sort of pretentious perfectionism, but rather a genuine expression of enthusiasm for their music. It also translates into a fresh and entertaining live show. Keeping all of these factors in mind, I was quite excited to hear this, their debut album, when it was recently released.

Fortunately, the ethic of hard work and constant improvement that is a staple of their live shows clearly shines through on this album. Codetta thrives on technically precise rhythms and smoothly executed transitions. This is a good thing, as they deftly weave together elements of pop, punk, and more traditional rock music. These guys certainly deserve credit for combining these varied influences into a cohesive entity that does not necessarily cater to one particular aspect of their sound. In fact, pigeonholing this album into a specific subgenre of indie rock could be
doing it a great injustice, as it ultimately has the potential to cater to a wide variety of tastes.

Sure, this may not represent anything amazingly innovative or brand new in the long run, but who cares? This is obviously not what they are attempting to do and there is plenty here for everyone. What is important is that Codetta has released a solid, well-produced album of consistently appealing and rocking music. I already find myself looking forward to their next effort and future live shows to see what elements they add to their reportoire of edgy vocals, catchy rhythms, and occasional meltdowns.

If you have trouble locating this at your local music outlet, fret not, as their website (above) has a simple PayPal link to facilitate purchase. -

"School of rock"

March 25, 2004 - 11:30:36 AM EST

School of rock: Billerica-bred bands are creating a distinctive sound that's being heard far beyond town borders


It's a snowy Tuesday night and despite intimidating squalls, scores of fans file into the Middle East rock club in Cambridge. In a small performance space, the three-man band Codetta begins to thaw out the room. A note of reverb is held for a Sonic Youth minute, then drums and guitars burst into volcanoes of sound.

Dressed in black with a buzz-cut, lead singer Andrew Doherty catches the attention of hard-to-please indie rock fans. Behind him, David Jarvis wipes his brow on a T-shirt that says "Billerica is for Lovers," as he bangs wildly on the drums.

One of several garage bands to emerge from the Lowell rock scene, Codetta, like their contemporaries Audrey Can't Die, Kinnar, Straight to Video and Kandakandero have something in common: Billerica.

Bobby Ackroyd of Kinnar, one of Billerica's up-and-coming bands. Sun photo by Bob Whitaker.

Whether it's coincidence, something in the water or just sheer boredom, growing up in Billerica has led them to music. And as these bands start to refine their sound and cultivate followings in Boston and beyond, they could put their hometown on the rock 'n' roll map.

"These kids are cutting-edge and more concurrent with what's going on in clubs in Boston," said Tim Waltner, studio manager at Evos Music in Lowell, who has recorded CDs for these bands and books them regularly at Evos Arts.

Waltner, former general manager at WJUL, the UMass Lowell station (now WUML), has a keen eye on the music scene and believes this crop of young musicians is breaking at the right time.

"They have created their own sounds with their own influences," said Waltner. "I believe in them. There are some very super-talented musicians."

While they are all sonically disparate Codetta has a country twang, Kinnar is high-powered rock, Kandakandero creates ambient music devoid of vocals and Audrey Can't Die airs on the emo side they share a can-do attitude.
"We just want to keep getting better and book steady gigs," said Robert Pierce, lead singer-songwriter for Audrey Can't Die.

If boredom breeds creativity, then Billerica, a sprawling suburb marked by strip malls and quiet streets, was the place to be raised, these musicians say.

"Playing in a band was all there was," said Pierce, 25, who like his bandmate Jason Boutwell, 27, graduated from Billerica Memorial High School and still lives in town.

"Billerica's a pretty boring town," agreed Doherty of odetta. "There's not much to do except drive around."

But instead of spending their high-school days tooling up and down Boston Road, these teenage boys were plugging into amps in their parents' basements and garages and rocking out.

The inspiration to pick up a guitar can be traced back to a man named Don Staveley. The Billerica high school history teacher started a concert series a decade ago to showcase the young raw talent he noticed everywhere.

"The kids were very, very talented. There was talent all over the place," said Staveley, who retired from teaching in Billerica two years ago.

But without a nurturing environment, talent can fester and die. His Student Produced Arts Concert, known as SPAC, was (and still is) run completely by and for students. It started with classical music and poetry and soon grew into a battle of the high school bands.

"It was something to get excited about. You could make flyers to promote your band and get the word out," recalled Boutwell.
Calling it the Grammys of Billerica, Doherty said the SPAC concert was where he first thought seriously about rock 'n' roll. "When you are young, you think things are so intangible; that's when I realized I could actually be in a band," he said.

Another plus about growing up in a town like Billerica was access to venues like the Masonic Temple and VFW halls, where most under-age bands get their start.

"These shows were easy to get together; people could get to it without a problem. Everyone showed up, the freaks, jocks, everyday people. It was an event," said Pierce.

Now that they've graduated to the club scene, that inclusiveness hasn't wavered. They still go to each others' gigs for support and to check out the competition.
"We inspire each other, but when I go see Audrey Can't Die, I want to outdo them," said a bearded Bobby Ackroyd of Kinnar, who wears a black cowboy hat slung low over his eyes.

With a self-effacing attitude, Kinnar, which in Hindu means messenger to the gods, is the scrappiest of the bunch. Popping a few beers in their postage stamp-sized rehearsal space one night last week, they cranked out a rocking number, "Small City," with powderkeg energy.

Belting out lyrics to a cinderblock wall, Ackroyd and his band tear up the space. Between songs, they swap stories about work bassist Tommy Clancy is an auto technician, guitarist Eric Downs and drummer Phil MacKay are in construction and Ackroyd teaches music at the Billerica Boys and Girls Club. With a joke here and a slight there, it seems hanging out together is just as important as making music.

Kinnar, like the other bands, dream about getting signed to a major label, but while they may never turn up on the cover of Rolling Stone, with people and a supportive community behind them, who knows?

"Their hearts are in the right place. I keep telling them you have to keep pushing to have something," said Walnter. - Lowell Sun

"Codetta mission clear: Rock ’n’ roll"

Published: September 29, 2004

I began to indulge myself in the Codetta world by first logging onto its Web site, I was fortunate to find a couple of mp3s to listen to and was immediately impressed.

The first track, “Show Them the World,” didn’t waste time explaining what these guys were about: rock ’n’ roll.

The Lowell, Mass.-based band is a three-piece featuring Andrew Doherty (guitar, vocals), Erik Szyska (bass, vocals) and Dave Jarvis (drums).

And Codetta is not afraid to play. The group has performed more than 60 shows in New England in just over a year.

Just this past Friday, the band released its first full-length album, “Fake the Golden Age,” at a CD-release party hosted by Great Scott in Allston, Mass.

I was overwhelmed by the intensity of “Show Them the World.” I’ve listened to so many local bands with incredible live shows who absolutely blow it in the studio. With this song, you can hear the blood, sweat and tears from start to finish as if it were a live performance.

The lyrics are emotional and sincere, reminiscent of adrenaline-charged Robert Smith (The Cure) and Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), the drums are powerful and energetic, the bass lines appear and disappear with the mood and the guitar solos are perfect, like the old days of Pearl Jam.

The second track I downloaded was “Slow Drip Nightmare,” a song that will stay in your head all day. Its heavy sound and catchy chord progression gets you hooked right out of the gates. Reminders of Saved by the Day, Dashboard Confessional and several other bands in the Vagrant Records family come to mind.

And just when you want it, an emotion-charged guitar solo, reminding me how much I miss the solos of James Iha and Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), pounds through to the end.

It is clear the rock ’n’ roll of the mid-’90s has influenced Codetta and though the familiar associations are present, the band makes no mistake in letting you know that it is passionate about its work and that what it does is its own.

With all the local music available on any given night, it’s easy to think the bands all sound the same, but when Codetta takes the stage they want you to “Wake up your sleepy head,” because “we’re taking over.” - 168 Magazine (


Geneology of Loss - EP - 2003
Fake The Golden Age - Debut LP - 2004


Feeling a bit camera shy


Codetta's music is the definition of one moment - a reflection of the past, a precursor to the future, belonging to neither - the bridge between two decisions. Their music expresses the complex emotion of dueling with self and the world. Their debut album, "Fake the Golden Age", is not a concept album. It explores multiple concepts - politics, personal reflection, love, cultural divides - through an uncompromising fusion of sound and energy with a unique lyrical style that pulls no punches.

"Fake the Golden Age" describes life as a series of victories and defeats, of rewards and consequences. It embraces both natural independence and natural fear. As showcased in their raw and powerful live shows, Codetta's defiant spirit and drive can inspire a sense of direction and a call to action for anyone stuck in one moment.

Codetta is Andrew Doherty - Vox/Guitar, Dave Jarvis - Drums, and Erik Szyska - Bass/Vox. Their full length release, Fake the Golden Age, is on sale now. The video for "Make It Yours" can be streamed or downloaed on the band's website. Codetta will be touring New England extensively in '05.