Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Wreck and Reference: No Youth (2012)

A Personal Recommendation

When one of metal’s most innovative artists personally contacts you with a specific recommendation, it’s probably a good idea to listen. Otrebor (of Botanist fame) contacted me about Wreck and Reference, so I listened.

If that name-drop alone doesn’t pique your interest, perhaps you should know their sophomore effort No Youth was mixed by Krallice’s Colin Marston, a.k.a. the producer du jour for avant-garde extreme music, and the vinyl version will be released by The Flenser, a.k.a., the next Profound Lore. From all that information, you’re probably pretty sure whether this is something you’d be interested in, or if you’re just going to move on to the next Hell’s Headbangers release. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) But if you’re still on the fence, it might help to know that it’s available for a pay-what-you-want download.

The music is a sort of doom/drone-inspired gothic industrial, but don’t be led into conflating “drone-inspired” with “boring.” It’s not, because these songs go places, and none of the tracks are longer than 4:31. It’s created by a real-life drummer (thankfully!) and someone who plays a sampler “the way most saner individuals would approach playing a guitar,” according to Otrebor. The sounds you’ll hear from the synthesizer are guitar-like rumbles, feedback, piano, strings, and more, and he often uses a glitch-like effect with them that I find satisfying. The vocal styles range from gothic/deathrock clean singing to paranoid rambling to maniacal screaming.

The cover art of a man who has apparently slit his wrists should give you a good idea of the mood and tone. The songs aren’t constructed so much out of riffs as soundscapes, but the drums constantly move it forward, and musical themes are definitely apparent. In other words, it’s music, not just ambient noise. And it’s really cool.

This is an adventurous bit of industrial music that should appeal to metalheads with an open mind. I can’t speak for any other group.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. This was pretty interesting....and very, very different. Not sure it sounds like anything else. My only complaint is that it reads more like "fragments" of songs than traditional full songs.