Wreck and Reference – No Youth Wreck and Reference – No Youth

This is my first night alone in months, it seems, and I’m spending it listening to Wreck and Reference. I’m not sure what that says about me. The dogs don’t either. Three tracks in, during the wretched maelstrom that ends “The Solstitial,” my littlest lupine queen, Nancy, just up and left the comfort of my duvet, pausing to look at me with a confused mix of fury, disgust and shame that I haven’t seen since I once pissed my ex-girlfriend’s bed and tried (pitifully) to convince her that I spilled my glass of water in a dream about Paul McCartney before seeking a haven somewhere 1200 square feet away.

The dog, not the lady.

She lives thousands of miles away and is married, climbing mountains or some such athletically beatific shit.

And I am happy too. Totally in love and getting so close to figuring out just what the fuck I’m supposed to be when I grow up that I can almost taste the teenage dream at the bottom of each Tall Boy.

Yet, I’m listening to No Youth. Again and again and again. I started when the sun was high and the day seemed bright, thinking I could make swift work of this (admittedly inspired) amalgamation of droned neofolk polemics, post-industrial doomed tribalism and black metal horrifics with a few references (Current 93, Cobalt, NDE as deconstructed by a less accessible Mamaleek maybe?) and a pedantic diatribe about how, though this record was good (really good, actually), it wasn’t the sort of thing I would ever need in my life and how I hoped you wouldn’t either and how we should all get along or trade smiles for razor blades to the thigh (vice versa?) or something about the casualties of bliss in this age of sheened terror and inexplicable, inescapable, goddamn fucking endlessly hopeless fucking regret.

No, that wasn’t it. That last part was now. That last bit is this. The present catharsis. Wreck and Reference. The need to raze, to be destroyed. The abyss now staring back, not at, but through you and your life and your times and your loves and your lies and all the good you’ve ever done and all the pain you’ve earned, then pushed aside and all the promise that will survive you: the ash and tomb…forever.

Jesus Christ.

Is it too base to call this record effective? To tell you that this band has gotten under my skin in a way I didn’t expect when I initially wrote off Black Cassette as another overthought, underscored expression of clanging angst in keeping with the cult/cvlt/kvlt aesthetic best surmised by Enemies List and her alternating axioms of “No Fun. Not Ever.” and “Kill Everyone. Destroy Everything.” or whatever the fuck new white nihilism wears as a wrist-torn doctrine because I am a man who reveres his damage most when everything is going right and it is comforting to know that there is a soundtrack to that condition?

Fuck it.

Wreck and Reference - No Youth, reviewed by Charles on 2012-04-23T10:05:07-07:00 rating 3.6 out of 5

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