Absolute Still Life is the fourth full-length album by the experimental duo Wreck And Reference. The album marks a radical departure from the band’s heavy and noise rock origins and finds them driving toward a more electronic and abstract dimension. Like past albums, warped synthesizers and pillaged samples build up the harmonic elements of the songs, but the absence of acoustic drums gives this release a colder, more alien aesthetic. With fewer screams and stranger textures than before, the band find themselves alone again in uncharted and uncategorizable territory.
The album cover depicts a sickly still life in which edible and inedible elements mix in an unnatural and unappetizing collage of bright colors. The title reflects the absurdist version of reality that one find oneself in, unable to escape.
To date, Wreck And Reference have released four EPs and three full-length albums. Their first work, an EP titled Black Cassette, showcased distorted fragments and synthesizers in angular, heavy songs, with themes of determinism and Cormac McCarthy-esque isolation. Their debut full-length No Youth (2012) and their sophomore release Want (2014), described by Pitchfork as having “radical vision” and “boundless experimentation,” represented dramatic expansions of their sonic palette. In 2016, the band released their third album, Indifferent Rivers Romance End, perfecting their song craft and pushing their noisy, sample-based instrumentation to its limits.