What the Media have to say...
There’s no doubt that Golden Times is a strange animal. It is Coda’s first release in a decade, and the first time they’ve utilized vocalists.
The classically trained Coda channel the likes of Portishead, Goldfrapp and Serge Gainsbourg, drawing on anything that grabs their ears. From downbeat beginnings, it all ends on the edgy jazz of ‘You Won Me Over’ featuring Jane Tyrrell, and the pure pop of ‘Summer Pop’.
"It’s intricate, interesting, bold and beautiful. Golden Times isn’t a pony but a galloping unicorn.”
(Indie Album of the Week, 4 stars – George Nott, The Brag)
The Brag Review (PDF Format)
CODA live in Bangkok
"With a groove-oriented rhythm section overlaid by violin, percussion and vocals that often soared to an operatic pitch (the band's vocalist is also an opera singer), Coda skillfully and knowingly used their instruments to tell tales without words. Their sound was compelling and atmospheric but far from inaccessible, and while it took you on a journey, the massive rock drumming and solid riffing kept your head moving in the here and now. Coda's diverse set, which at moments felt like the score to an unseen film, benefited greatly from the length of their songs; at around four minutes each they were perfect, accessible samples of the group's vision, undiminished by elaboration or indulgence. In summary, Coda are an extraordinarily original, creative and talented group who gave a stunning performance, which,
in my opinion, was the best of the evening."
(Luke Dunstan, Bangkok Post)
'Calling Mission Mu'
“Whenever Coda come out to play, it’s a guaranteed party night of weird and wacky proportions. Flagbearers of the avant-garde, this band is renowned for its precociously high standard of music. They certainly didn’t disappoint a packed house at the Oxford Art Factory. If you mixed up the eccentricities of Silverchair, the inventvness of Fourplay and the experimentation of Herbie Hancock, you’d have about a quarter of the Coda experience. CODA make you want to dance, mosh and stand in awe all at the same time. This proved a difficult task for the audience, who were content simply to cheer raucously for what is undoubtedly one of the most electrifying live acts in Sydney.”
(Jonno Seidler, BRAG Oxford Art Factory Review)
"This record has unquestionably established Coda as the most fantastic band in Australia. Coda have always been a great force both in the studio and in the live setting, yet Calling Mission Mu sees them rise in maturity to a level of mind boggling brilliance that is rarely achieved."
(10/10 review, Tsunami Magazine, Dec 2006)
"You probably won't believe this. A bunch of colourful Sydneysiders have succeeded where Tubular Bells, Bond and Milan Four Sopranos, supported by huge marketing budgets, have failed: modern classical musician's are cool. Not a believer? Then you obviously did not witness CODA's performance at the packed Adelaide Festival Centre last Friday night as this five-piece purveyor of fused classical/electronic/instrumental/jazz with a seasoning of middle eastern flourishes sailed into a succession of stunning tunes, deep rhythms and signature strings from the sweetly sophisticated soundscape that is its second album Calling Mission Mu."
(InDaily Adelaide, Dec 2006)
"The album is a seductive and heady mix of cinematic soundscapes. This is music with no geographical boundaries, immense in range and passion, simple, clear and deep."
(Jaslyn Hall, Limelight Magazine, Nov 2006)
"Start off with some gently swelling strings, add a catchy bassline, the thumps of drums - and then vamp it up with some zany costumes and dance routines: Coda dosen't exactly fit your basic model of a rock band. Their musical free-for-all (their style encompasses classical, rock, electronic and jazz) is best summed up by their own tag: "Music for the eyes."
(The Weekend Australian Magazine, Nov 2006)
"With some of the best artwork I have ever seen this album is spectacular in its vision and breadth. Coda take their time and do things their own way which is always a treat for the listener."
(Sebastian Skeet, The Drum Media, Nov 2006)
'As the title suggests, Coda are not afraid to tread their own path, exploring unconventional musical territory outside of the mainstream music agenda. It’s epic and cinematic instrumental music. There’s beauty and serenity on tracks like Secret Music, while it feels like you’ve stepped into a cheesey ‘70s movie soundtrack on tracks like Loveliner and Past The Moon or new age electronica on Superpod. The booklet features a poem to go with each track, so you can see that Coda put their heart, soul and energy whole-heartedly into this collection. With viola, piano, keyboards, electronics, programming, violin, accordion, melodica, Hammond , drums, percussion, vibraphone, Pro Tools, Wurlitzer and electric and double bass fused in a hypnotic blend, it’s an overall an enjoyable experience.'
"The second album from this string-soaked Sydney art-rock collective sounds like a holiday in an underwater city. Powerful currents sweep you down submerged streets and huge beasts glide past in the dark as everything floats. From the rippling violins on opener Marine to the spooky bass-funk surge of Superpod to the impossible dream of Palms of Shangrilah this is deep, moody magic. Miss Bliss is a dance-tastic eruption and Shoes, Your Rhythm somehow makes the accordian sound sexy. Charming and thrilling."
(4 Stars, Simon Ferguson, The Daily Telegraph)
"To describe CODA as a string ensemble is to wildly underestimate the breadth of their new album 'Calling Mission Mu'. It would appear that CODA have been moving on from the organic, acoustic classicism of their debut album towards a more dynamic and interesting mix of sounds. Moments such as Palms of Shangrilah evoke the sort of laid back bliss of Air. The lead single Rocking Horse shows off the new direction perfectly by mixing their lush strings with a muscular groove overlaid with a searing riff. So be warned punters: CODA's shows are not going to be a languid chill-out affair."
(Andrew P Street, Drum Media)
"Describing themselves as 'a musical collective who blur the definitions of genre in music', the entitely instrumental album finds itself flirting with everything from rock, prog, jazz, electronica, Middle Eastern flourishes and classical music, quite often during the same song. The opening track Marine reminds one of bands like Sigur Ros, or even Mogwai without the distortion. Special mention also needs to be made of the artwork and packaging - many bands whose status far exceeds that of CODA would do well to take a leaf out of their book. As you can probably tell, it's all very wonderful and difficult to describe." (TUNE! FM Album of the week Sept 2006)
More Mission Mu Reviews (PDF Format)
'Rocking Horse' is a tremendous return for one of Australia's most amazing bands. While containing all the glory of their former work, this release demonstrates Coda's progression to a stage of more mature song writing. B-side 'Palms of Shangila' is a wonderful compliment.
(9/10 review, Tsunami Magazine)
'Music for the eyes'
"Sydney's homegrown artistic whirlwind CODA are unbridled creativity incarnate. But they like to keep things in two main categories. There's the straight-ahead instrumental rock band part, which usually still involves astounding costumes, dancers and singers to spice the sweeping statement of their music. Then there's the full-blown expressive overdrive of a CODA "happening", blending music, theatre, singing, dancing, projections and more. This year's Music for the Eyes reprise will solidify their position as the group that defies labels. It's a bizarre, funny, erotic, disturbing and powerful show where the aerial acrobatics of Imogen Kelly, the strange dance mime act of the CODApendants and the moody magic of CODA's new songs all combine in a heady mix of music and movement."
(Simon Ferguson, The Daily Telegraph 23/6/06)
"An uplifting cinematic musical experience that will leave all your senses invigorated, CODA's performance is enhanced with theatrics, dance and costumes making it one of the most innovative and visually spectacular music acts around."
'For Our Animal Friends'
"Brilliant! Stunning! Full On Goddamn amazing! Why have I never heard of these guys before? They seem to be one of the greatest hopes for the Australian music scene, This EP is wonderful; a swirling psychedelic journey through a lush dreamscape that reminds me of the sweeter moments of Secret Chiefs 3. There is an Arabic flavour running throughout the disk, with sweeping strings singing out haunting melodies above immaculate programming and fantastic playing. Add the excellent artwork and esoteric geometry on the disk itself and you have a rather unique release that will astound those smart enough to purchase it."
"From the ever enchanting CODA comes a new EP, a follow up to their brilliant album 'There Is A Way To Fly'. Laced with haunting violins and echoing of Arabian shores, it is hard to believe that they are five 20-somethings from inner west Sydney. Nick Wales and Naomi Radom capture something unique and strangely eerie with their amazing skills on violin. It's a pychadelic journey of epic proportions; a non-stop ride through all things slightly electronic but always emotive. The only question that remains is where does the inspiration for such a well crafted yet strangely and strongly themed sound come from?"
(CD of the week - The Brag Magazine)
"CODA have made their own niche of string-driven electronica really unlike anything doing the rounds."
"This is awe inspiring. There isn't a spark of the brain that wasn't awoken by this multitudinous offering of sound."
(4 Star review - Elevenmagazine.com)
"CODA have carved a niche for themselves with a mesmerising instrumental mix of rock, classical, eastern, electronic and psychadelic music. Because CODA cover such a broad spectrum of sounds, they appeal to dance, classical and urban music fans alike."
"CODA's performances are quite simply magical. Drawing inspiration from a pastiche of musical styles, their sound emerges as a stunningly surreal fusion of electro gypsy folk with a classical undercurrent that is at once compelling and exceptionally unique."
'There is A Way To Fly'
“Everything about the debut album from sextet CODA is simply beautiful.”
“This is good. Spring afternoons and the new CODA CD on indie Silent Recordings.”
Melissa Hoyer Sun Telegraph
"Sounding outside the square you live in, Coda stand out like sore thumbs!"
"The rise and fall of CODA's layers of strings is at times like a breathing organism, set against luscious arrangements and the light patter of rhythm. This dynamic outfit won't be stereotyped without a fight."
(Rolling Stone Magazine)
"Through psychedelia, beats and strings, CODA finds a way to fly…. You’ll hear sluggish, psychedelic keyboards gently working their way through a melancholy viola riff. You’ll hear vibraphone, Latin beats with those wonderful strings cascading in the background, letting the beats have their fame. Tracks run into one another; whether elegant or brutal, it’s simply the sleight of the musicians. There is a Way to Fly modestly demonstrates that classical fusion goes beyond geekdom and the bourgeoisie. There is more to life that bleeps and blips: there is CODA."
(Australian Style Magazine)
"CODA blends the beauty of strings with the warmth of electronica resulting in a unique and stunning album that explores aspects of both pop and purism, without ever suggesting musical novelty."
"There is A Way to Fly’ is a risky concoction of orchestration irrelevant to the overcrowded pop scene. They don’t fit the pop criteria; actually, CODA stand out like sore thumbs."
"On the evidence here, you would give them a job scoring your film/party/TV series tomorrow. Starting as a string quartet capable of switching from mellow to noise, CODA have evolved into an act that straddles jazz, contemporary classical and modern electronic music…cheeky beggars."
Sydney Morning Herald
"There is a way to Fly’ is an album that requires listening to – this is complex and beautiful music that holds mystery, drama and emotion and smells of life’s richness itself. An achievement!"
"Sydney’s CODA have been inspired by the same postmodern ethos behind Baz Luhrmann’s movies and artists as disparate as William Orbit and Bjork, mixing up high and low culture."
"CODA stroked strings, vibes, keys and drums, coyly revealing that a sweet secret marriage between classical and modern electronic feels had taken place somewhere in their collective warm and sad past. Each element of the band complements and balances the rest. The fiddle players let their twin hands smile gentle and nostalgic at one another, grinning sunshine and sadness across a solid, rhythmic chasm of sound."
Live review/Revolver Magazine
"With two violins, a viola and sometimes a cello, as well as keyboards, drums and a vibraphone, the classically trained group make a sound that blends the best of yesterday with a promise of tomorrow. And they look fantastic too. Their sound writhes lithesomely, sometimes sounding Arabic and at other times absolutely stirring. These truly original artists simply ooze creativity and inspiration. They sign off promising to see us again at mid-year Opera House shows inspired by children's writer and artist Norman Lindsay. Sounds like a magic pudding indeed."
Simon Ferguson, The Daily Telegraph 25/01/06
Other Reviews (PDF Format)