Sunday, June 12, 2016

Wreck & Reference :" Indifferent Rivers Romance End"

Things have changed yet the core of what this projects does  remains intact , but it can not be ignored that they have taken a  turn not unlike that Muscle & Marrow made on their last album Wreck & Reference continues to evolve on their newest album. This evolution takes them away from the more metallic intensity of their previous albums. Some emotive screamed vocals do appear on the first track to break up the narrative that is more introspective. Vocally this album shows growth, with many more vocal colors being dipped into. They have always been a duo that pits synths against a drum kit, this has been expanding into varied forms of electronic experimentation. The floating synths of "Flight, but Not Metaphor" have more of a kraut-rock throb to them. The first hint of the so-called "trap" 808 sound thumps in toward the end of the song. These guys might be too cool for the own good. The screaming transitions you into the harder sonics of "Ascend" which on my first listen sounded like an extension of the previous song.

The plaintive vocal reminds me of King Missile. It is joined by a coarser holler as the song winds into a deep space groove into a narcotic drenched mind. The mood goes gray with the ambiance of "Liver". They return to their darker   take on the kind of reflective pose you might remember King Missile for back in the 90s. Their is a similar tone shared between "Manifestos" and "Modern Asylum" , though "Manifestos" captures a wider sonic spectrum as it builds into a heavy section. The tortured vocals continue on into the looser atmosphere of "Bullwhips". "Languish" has the throat wrench yells opening the door for a barrage of drums and Phillip Glass like string synth pieces. The is more of a post-punk croon to "Unwant" that ends the album. This finds them somewhere between a more spaced out dark wave and atmospheric prog rock. Some of the songs have a similar drone to them and the songs are often what you hear is what you get working off the one synth pattern. Overall it's an enjoyable listen but not an album I really see myself getting a lot of air time with. I'll give it an 8.5

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