I recently received a mail from WRECK AND REFERENCE, presenting their music like this : "we are a lo-fi electronic doom band from Sacramento, California; eschewing guitars, we use samples and synthetizers to craft wastelands of sonic chaos and despair"...
To tell the truth, a bit skeptical about the association of the words "electronic" and "doom", I entered with curiosity their unique world of sullen atmospheres. There's no boundaries in music and DOOM should not be an exception to that, I don't know if in a few years, these guys will be considered as pioneers but they have yet created their own style; no need to be four, five or more and record in high conditions, this is recorded live by a duo and is full of sheer alienated heaviness !!!
"Electronic", of course as there's no guitars here (which is not so obvious in some parts at the first listening) but I'm pretty amazed by this distorted fuzzy organic sound from the use of samples and synths. Perfectly in harmony with mournful vocals, the pace is generally slow and despaired, atmospheric and contrasted with a few angered tempos, revealing an epic blackened edge. "Doom" certainly too, the pounding drums always keep it very catchy and heavy but there's no trad doom influences at all, sure there's a few welcome great melodies, epicness but this would more border funeral and even drone in a few structures.
I'm not at all into electronic musics, so I can absolutely not think about any influences from this side but I can hear some Swans, YOB, Sleep and Ice Dragon (yeah, to my ears, some quiet despaired vocal lines sound like Ron's which is awesome) overtones on the other side, which should be yet largely enough to convince you ! Their originality will do easily the rest believe me... This "black cassette" ep (six songs for about twenty minutes) released through Music Ruins Lives is definitely one of my best surprises of the year, and now curiosity has given way to envy, impatience to listen more and quickly guys if possible !!!