Wreck and Reference

Photo by Bryan Proteau

I am always drawn to music and art that is as emotionally charged and unhinged as it is carefully controlled and intellectual. Order amidst chaos. Transcendence amidst absolute destruction. Having both the keen awareness of this eternal universal balance and the ability to apply it to your art is much like discovering the key to a locked door that had previously taunted you with its impenetrable smugness.

Performing as a two-piece using only a drum kit, a sampler, and their voices, Wreck & Reference turn the key and step inside. Here they discover and invoke creative truths that are as breathtaking as they are bleak. Fortunately, through the medium of music, we get to join them on the ride. Brace yourselves: like most rides, this one is both exhilarating and fucking terrifying. Their name alone cleverly indicates their intent, the drums serving as the “wreck” and the sampler as the “reference”. When I saw them perform this past weekend at a tape release show for LA’s COMING, I cried a bit. I am more or less a statue nowadays and the effect of their performance on me resulted in real, actual tears. Respect.

I’m not going to make any stale comparisons to other bands, but I will say that Wreck & Reference is (again with the balance) as sonically heavy and aggressive as it is atmospheric. They’ve enlisted tags such as experimental, drone, electronic noise, noise rock and post-metal to describe themselves. That’s all fine. I’ve been calling it “music for people intelligent enough to know that they’re doomed”. If you’re into that sort of thing, please follow the links below and form your own opinions. I also encourage you to read the lyrics.

Listen HERE.

My favorites include a track off of their 2013 7” release No Content, entitled “Absurdities & Echoes” and “Inverted Soul” off of 2012’s No Youth.

You can follow Wreck & Reference on Twitter.