Wreck And Reference: Indifferent Rivers Romance End

Sometimes pure force of emotion isn't enough to get you there...

- Wreck And Reference get described as pop/rock, which isn’t a delicious and excitable candy so much as a lacklustre catchall for one of the main streams of sub culture. Wreck And Reference are in fact more metallic and melodic, you can tell because the lead singer does that, let me whisper my problems before emotion takes hold and devolves into a hoarse-voice screamy thing while insistently sinister synth and industrial percussions battle each other for harmony in the background.

Wreck And Reference’s latest, Indifferent Rivers Romance End, from Flenser Records, is a fun to sentence to say, but that’s about all the joy you can suck out of it. If you want to have your own joy sucked, though, this is the place. The ten tracks on offer are all quite solid and suggestively emotive, ranging from the slow-open into abrasion and screaming of Manifestos, to the screaming abrasion into ambient slow-close of Ascend, or the cleverly upbeat, abrading, slow then skin-strippingly upbeat again all while including screams, Languish.

There are some interesting moments buried amongst the scrappy industrial flotsam of emotion. Strange little portions of influence and unexpected cultural aggregate that seems to have accrued in unexpected places. Tracks like Liver, which sounds like Bloc Party recorded the soundtrack to Labyrinth in a bomb shelter, or the beat scratch open and beat poet close of Modern Asylum that fully compliment each other by belonging in different oeuvres.

There’s a lot to like in this release, but only if it’s in your nature to like it in the first place. Fans of Xiu Xiu’s noisey ministrations or the screamo thrashings of something like Glassjaw would surely be able to find a comfortable perch here, but if you aren’t invested already, the barrier of entry is basically like being yelled at by a plumber while he hits your pipes with a wrench.

Indifferent Rivers Romance End isn’t bad, but it’s about as good and sonically relevant as watching somebody cry via telescope, even if you understand the why of what’s going on, the distance at play is going to severely limit the connection and negate any real action. You may as well let them cry and get on with their life, unless of course you’re into that sort of thing.

- Nic Addenbrooke.

Album Details

Album Title: Indifferent Rivers Romance End
Artist: Wreck And Reference
Record Label: (The Flenser / Redeye)