Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Wreck and Reference - No Youth
Various depictions of the future in fictional mediums emphasize the irrelevance of boundaries. Whether the separations be geographically, ethnically, or linguistically, they become moot as cultures develop and merge together. In that same way, Wreck and Reference embody a logical amalgamation of numerous emotions, styles, moods, and structures throughout their latest release No Youth.
The California based band encompasses a distinct electronic sound that's grounded in organic drums and a slew of different vocal attacks that make those that are unfamiliar to the electronic effects/instrumentation comfortable yet curious. The droning "Spectrum" introduces the listener perfectly as its slow and narrow beginning opens up to a vista like display of exploding drums and subtle developments in melody. "Nausea" might be my favorite track on the album as the soothing ambiance breaks way to a comprehensible blast beat and ethereal crooning vocals that carry a blissful feeling. The coin is flipped once again as "The Solstitial" becomes a noisy outburst of vicious vocals and searing effects. I feared the band would endlessly rotate styles and sounds, becoming unrecognizable by the end, but this was fortunately untrue as the band retains a distinct sound that only takes a few songs to fully recognize. I don't surprise myself by saying "Nausea" and "Obedience" are my favorite tracks, mostly because of their tangible melodies that fight through the weave of harsh elements and contrasting effects.
Reminiscent of the line Swans have drawn throughout their career between painful and blissful, Wreck and Reference provoke numerous comparisons, all of which befitting and flattering, but none of which are substantial enough to explain the simply enjoyable yet complex sound they possess.
Available for pay what you want on their Bandcamp, as well as a full stream below.