Wreck and Reference's Vision of the Future Channels Industrial Pop, Trap Beats, and Despair

Stream the new LP, 'Indifferent Rivers Romance End,' from these genre-bending nihilists.

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Jul 15 2016, 3:02pm

On their third full-length album, California nightmares Wreck and Reference sink even further into the lightless void they've been haunting since the project's inception. Their music sounds cold, slick, and futuristic—but the future they envision is a portrait of Orwellian despair, a Metropolis rendered in pitch black and dried blood. The album's due out July 22 via The Flenser, and sees the pair—Ignat Frege and Felix Skinner—ramp up their use of icy synthesizers and unexpected influences for maximum unsettling impact.

My frame of reference as far as hip-hop goes is skeletal at best, but I will say that Indifferent Rivers Romance End's moments of trap goth remind me a lot of Sage Francis' vocals, and Dälek's committment to darkness. There's a generous amount of genre-bending going on here, and an overarching theme of desperation and desolation that will feel familiar to those who've been following the band (or their endearingly nihilistic Twitter feed) for awhile. The aforementioned tense hip-hip beats, post-hardcore yowls, industrial edge, noisy pop, shards of doomy metal, and gloomy atmosphere shouldn't work this well together—and yet, here we are.

Take a listen for yourself below, and snag the album from The Flenser—preorders are percolating now.

Catch W&R on their US tour with Some Ember later this summer:

7.29 - Los Angeles, CA - Non Plus Ultra
8.12 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
8.13 - Davis, CA - The Morgue
8.15 - Salt Lake City, UT - Diabolical Records
8.16 - Denver, CO - Juice Church
8.17 - Omaha, NE - Milk Run
8.18 - Ames, IA - DG's Taphouse
8.19 - Minneapolis, MN - Eagle's Club
8.20 - Chicago, IL - TriTriangle
8.21 - Ann Arbor/Detroit, MI - TBA
8.22 - Columbus, OH - Double Happiness
8.23 - Baltimore, MD - The Crown
8.24 - Washington, D.C. - Safari Rest. & Lounge
8.25 - New Paltz, NY - MLIBOG
8.26 - New York, NY - Alphaville
8.27 - Richmond, VA - Perfect Church
8.28 - Columbia, SC - Tapp’s Art Center
8.29 - Nashville, TN - Drkmtter
8.30 - Birmingham, AL - The Firehouse
8.31 - New Orleans, LA - Gasa Gasa
9.01 - Dallas, TX - Three Links
9.02 - Austin, TX - Sidewinder
9.03 - Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture

Kim Kelly is in the modern asylum (aka Twitter).