The album's goal is never so clearly stated, but there are plenty of hints in these gloomy, loop-based compositions. "Ay Carmela" reimagines a Spanish civil war song ("But bombs can do nothing / When there's a lot of heart"), framing it with eerie synths and distant percussion. "Rosa / Kollontai" features a rendition of leftwing anthem "The Internationale"—"Enslaved masses, stand up, stand up!"—and samples miner's strike activist Alan Sutcliffe calling for "Victory to all working people in struggle throughout the world!" The track's title references Bolshevik revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai and German Marxist Rosa Luxemburg.
It's no coincidence that both are women: Wreck His Days is dedicated to "all women throughout history who fought against hate and dedicated their lives to making a better world." Backing vocals for "I Beat As I Sleep As I Dream" are credited to deceased British suffragists Lydia Becker and Millicent Fawcett. What point is being made by referencing these figures in this way? And is this puzzle the source of the music's mysterious appeal, or was it there all along?
This is how Wreck His Days functions: through veiled hits and half-decipherable signals. The artist(s) responsible remains anonymous, leaving you to scour the list of additional musicians. (There's a strong Australian contingent, including members of These Immortal Souls, HTRK and The Devastations.) But the music mostly stands up without the detective work. Dubbed-out, slow-moving and curiously between genres, most tracks deliver an atmosphere rather than a clear narrative, but they do so effectively.
The album's first half is strongest, and quite diverse. "Ghost From The Coast" sounds like a dingy jazz club in the afterlife. "Reverberasia" repurposes exotica samples into a dazed nightmare. "…And I Tried So Hard" is a twinkling synth starscape with a sour edge. The later tracks, where the politics become clearer, aren't so amenable to repeat listens, but they leave interesting questions lingering. For instance: why is "The Internationale," a revolutionary call to arms, smothered with ghoulish backmasking effects? Perhaps the maker of this album isn't as optimistic as they first let on.