Machine of ConfusionWreck and Reference isn’t a metal band, but it’s certainly extreme. Sort of like Botanist in that way—Botanist’s Otrebor is actually the one who told me about this project. But this is the first time I’ve heard some Botanist influence in Wreck and Reference, particularly the piano parts in “Apollo Beneath the Whip.” But that’s jumping too far ahead.
Wreck and Reference is more of an industrial band, I guess? I’m not really clear on the proper terminology when you get into that area. Simile and metaphor are my preferred tools, so let’s try it out. W&R is like Nine Inch Nails reimagined by Sigh. A much more off-the-wall beast, vastly more intimidating and chaotic, but with some root similarities.
Opener “Corpse Museum” is the quintessential W&R track for me. Desperate, screamed vocals over a seemingly chaotic mix of sounds that inexplicably form a catchy rhythm. But there’s so much more. The slow and moody start of “Stranger, Fill This Hole in Me,” the familiar choral part in “Flies,” the excellent use of negative space in “Bankrupt.”
For as varied as the songs are, the record flows surprisingly well. As in, you won’t think of it as a collection of different songs but as a coherent piece. And a maginificently dynamic and well-paced one at that, with songs never too long and, even a few very short ones that are no less compelling for their short run (see “A Glass Cage for an Animal”).
Extreme music fans needing to hear something a bit different, look no further. You Want this.
The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars