Full Length, Self-released/Independent
April 15th, 2012
Genre: Experimental/Electronic Doom/Noise/Industrial/Post-Punk
This is a pleasant surprise. Wreck And Reference have just released their new album No Youth as a pay-what-you-want digital download on their bandcamp. They've requested I get this up here for you guys to check out. Be kind and give them something for their extreme generosity.
Another record mastered by Colin Marston (this guy is fuckin busy), but self-released by this duo that seem to be the only group outside of possibly Bad Life that approach the great Have A Nice Life in terms of strange weighted beauty, haunting ethereality, and their ability to escape categorization with their sound.
Wreck And Reference continue to develop and hone their unique style to new interesting levels with No Youth. It still retains that despondent atmosphere. No Youth is a little more tame and symphonic at the outset compared to Black Cassette, but and at various points this is contrasted with the ever-changing vocals and with many more sections of black metal percussion as well — for instance on "Cannot", "Inverted Soul", and "Nausea", with the MPC being subtly introduced underneath, buzzing and pulsing between the craters of silence and eerie sounds. "Nausea" has some excellent soothing vocals that contrast sharply with the blasts present and is one of my favorites on this album, next to "Cannot".
Moments of doom-like heaviness do appear though among the spoken passages laced with ambiance (the opener "Spectrum", "I Am A Sieve", or "The Solstitial"). Far less often than on Black Cassette admittedly but not to the album's detriment: No Youth is still plenty heavy but the approach has shifted slightly. Many tracks like "Obsession", "Edifice of Silt", and "Stage Collapse" are heavily symphonic, thick with cold entrancing melody and gloom. Sparks of industrial noise, humming, cycling psychedelia created by the MPC are far more haunting this time around.
As mentioned the vocals can be soothing and soft or droning, then in the next track they're scratchy and blackened, only to be followed by sombre speech or shaky singing. This can all occur within a single track ("I Am A Sieve", "Cannot"). It always works in the strange spectral atmosphere they create. And again the drumming drifts through multiple genres as well, sometimes tribal or semi-jazzy, sometimes doomy or black metal but as a key component it draws a lot of attention and is consistently entrancing.
Big recommendation for those who enjoyed their last one, another trip through the eletronic-industrial doom haze. Unlike Black Cassette I'm not sleeping on No Youth. I'll updated this if there's ever news of a physical release but their is no comment on that topic yet.