Saturday, November 22, 2014

Catching up With 2014: Wreck&Reference's Want

When this album came out the first casual listens to this one didn't grab me and ever since June I have intended  to give it another shot so here that goes.It falls right into abrupt beginning of the angular "Corpse Museum", which sounds like many other post- hard core bands if you set it against a blanket of dark weirdness. I am much more impressed by "Apollo Beneath the Whip". It takes me back to many of the things I liked about the last album. These guys do dark really well. I'm surprised this project originated in Los Angeles. They take a much more subdued turn , but no less dark on "Stranger, Fill This Hole in Me". The hesitant beat is almost trip-hop. The vocals are low murmur until the song builds. Then they go into the more agitated shouting that is more hard core in delivery than metal.

The typewriter like cymbal work of the previous song transitions into "Bankrupt". The shouting continues, but the effects on the vocals make this feel more industrial. The vocals dominate the other wise minimal composition. I would not say these songs drone, they are sparse pictures sonically painted more than they are songs, as they never seem to return to any chorus or verse. "A Glass Cage For an Animal" makes better use of the sounds they have only toyed with up to this point. It's abrasive but still flows with a sick sense of melody. The ambiance overwhelms "A Tax", this makes it more of an interlude than a song. "Flies" is the next real song. The vocals take a calm spoken quality in the background, where this mix seems to set them when they are not being screamed. The yelled vocals combat this as a dark synth riff bubbles beneath it.

"Convalescence" starts off with impressive drumming, but not drumming meant to hold a song together. The clams down into a beat that's more sure of it's self. The best vocals so far on the album appear here. They are also the most gothy, reminding me a little of Genesis P Orridge. "Machine of Confusion" is another one of those pieces that is more atmosphere than song as the soft sythns caress a low murmur that is almost not even audible. "Swallow" redeems this as it marries the atmosphere to some of their harsher elements, the same murmuring voice is present in this song as well. This album does sound a lot better than it's predecessors, but their is less emphasis on songwriting. The album closes with another piece that almost makes you think this is going to another thing barely qualifies as song, the screaming vocals are trying to say something, the drums are very sparse. The synths swell into static before floating away with the drums.

This album makes me think that I almost like the idea of what they do better than the actual execution of it. They touch on some very cool ideas, I think the songs were allowed by songs on the previous album, they also have moved away from any black metal elements, and it's more darkwave hardcore. With that said this is still pretty impressive so it gets an 8.

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