Wreck And Reference
No Youth [album stream]

This experimental doom metal band hails from the fictional town of Howling Wasteland, California (damn — if that were a real place, can you imagine what type of music scene it’d have?). They’re also shrouded in mystery: there’s scant information on the people behind Wreck and Reference, only a manifesto that the band represents “the foundation of man, purified and alone, pitted against collusion of the modern washing away in metallic paints.” Don’t scratch your head trying to figure that one out: just have a listen to their new LP No Youth, available as a name-your-price download on Bandcamp. It’s more of the terrific post-metal musings that the band showcased on their debut, Black Cassette: Tazmanian-devil drum fills, jazzy breakdowns, and plenty of screams pivoting between the guttural and the melodic. Be sure to snag “Cannot,” which proves that drone, emo, screamo and black metal can all coexist in a giant ball of angst. And someone encorporate a town in the desert and call it Howling Wasteland.

• Wreck and Reference: http://wreckandreference.bandcamp.com
• Flenser Records: http://theflenser.com

Versive & Noventa

“Infected Soul (A Lost Tale)”

Yo, these underground fellahs got just as much skill as the head honchos do. Light-deep beats, maddened mixing, clash cutting, intentional vocal mash-matching, weird-zones. This dude Noventa here even licking some ear-melting Gainsbourg talk. Actually, yeah. I’m really into this retro-keys melody, too. Retro, as in, grimy-cyberpunkthug-fistpump-video game: retro. And Versive’s wobbly spitten English, ripping rhymes from all sorts of interstellar channels, makes the international language collaboration sound freshly melody’d, in a turn-taking, yet syncretic way. And they willing to do anything to get this release from their hands to yours. Physically, I mean. CD-R or tape. You just contact ‘em and they’ll show you what’s up. #BLASTBLASTBLAST

• Versive: http://versive.bandcamp.com
• Noventa: http://noventa.bandcamp.com

Amen Dunes

“Ethio Song”

Too much, too much. Be apart, don’t talk about. Keep your shit together. Brothers be eyein’ each other and shit gets shaky. Tellin’ people what to think or how to be. I’ll stop. Can we chill? Want to head to West Africa con mio? Oh, that ain’t Amharic? I’m jood on that. Still chilled. Can we make friends anywhere? They got the internet up in that Ethiopia? Maybe we’ll network before we head out. Yo, shoot ‘em this track “Ethio Song.” They’d be totally down, maybe. Or, do you think this is way too American-sounding for anyone international to dig? Also, maybe. Hot on that Beach Boys guitar-stroking. Oo, we should bring up The Beach Boys to Ethiopian pals too. They totally know The Beach Boys. Maybe bring over some gifts. Just snag a couple 7-inches and distribute to new pals. And keep one for yourself. Don’t let this go unnoticed, please. OMG: who doesn’t love fruit? #languagebarrier

• Amen Dunes: http://amendunes.bigcartel.com


“Flu Factory”

Ever wonder what would happen if Devo, Chrome, Mission of Burma, and some obscure grindcore band got mixed with a little Chemical X and got left to sit out overnight? Probably “Flu Factory,” Microwaves’ just-released cut from their upcoming Psionic Impedance. There are some faint hints of no-wave boogie here, but the real star attraction here are the riffs, piercing and heavy as a ton of bricks, rendering the MP3 framework so useless that the sounds resemble those of a dying Game Boy. This isn’t just a “Flu Factory” — it’s free jazz with a full-blown case of the rabies.

• ugEXPLODE: http://nowave.pair.com/ugexplode

Triad God

NXB [mixtape]

Hippos In Tanks isn’t fucking around. Its latest signee is Triad God, a Vietnam-born, Hong Kong-raised, London-living aritst named Vinh Ngan. An album, according to The Quietus, is due in 2013, but he also has a free mixtape out right now called NXB. The mixtape, which saw release recently via UUU Tapes, features production work by Palmistry. Check it out. James Ferraro calls it “so dangerous.” And… I think he’s singing mostly in Cantonese.

Download it here and/or stream below. 古惑仔之人在江湖:

• Triad God: www.soundcloud.com/triadgod
• UUU Tapes: http://uuutapes.com
• Hippos In Tanks: http://hipposintanks.net

The Secret History

“Sergio (Plastic Flowers Remix)”

It could be argued that the art of the remix has never been more culturally ascendant. Every album release seems to be followed closely by a disc of remixes, and the sheer proliferation of amateur bloghouse remixers has occasioned the creation of hugely popular cloud services and blog aggregators devoted to the things. And yet it still seems rare that a remix is actually memorable, that it actually elevates the source material and alters one’s conception of the original song. That’s why this remix stands out.

The Secret History formed from the ashes of beloved cult indie-pop band My Favorite, and their forthcoming album is called Americans Singing In The Dark. “Sergio” is the first single from the album, a plaintive slice of pop with shades of The Magnetic Fields. It’s nice enough. Maybe a bit slight. But someone had the good sense to hand the stems over to Plastic Flowers, the Brooklyn-based synth-pop project of Sean Earl Beard, who released his debut single last year on Wierd Records, home of minimal wave revivalists Xeno & Oaklander. A full-length album is due out at the end of the summer.

The result is something else entirely, a gloomy, reverb-drenched dance tune that expands the best parts of The Secret History’s original track, creating a desolate mood that matches the existential meander of the lyrical refrain: “I don’t know what we are.” Steal the future below, before it rots.

• Plastic Flowers: http://plasticflowers.us
• The Secret History: http://www.thesecrethistory.net


CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.