And the Tears Washed Me, Wave After Cowardly Wave is Part 2 of Dreamend's telling of the true story of a serial killer's unravelling psyche, grisly misdeeds, and eventual death. After purchasing a personal journal of a serial killer at an auction in the woods, Ryan Graveface of Dreamend was inspired to tell the macabre story contained in its pages. Where Part 1, So I Ate Myself, Bite By Bite released in 2010 covered the first thirty years of the serial killer's life, Part 2 takes place after his initial taste for blood and ends with his death.
This record, however, tells more than the story of a serial killer. Within the rough, and raw mixture of banjos, distorted guitars, and the droning mixture of organ and synth is a story of catastrophe that happened to Ryan after releasing Part 1. In the period before recording And the Tears Washed Me, Wave After Cowardly Wave, Ryan experienced disaster while relocating from Chicago to Savannah, Georgia. When a moving company finally delivered his valuables weeks later than expected, Ryan discovered that a great deal of his main instrumentation had been destroyed during the move. His cello's neck was snapped in half, his banjo was butchered, his bell set was obliterated, and his organ's insides were ripped to shreds. With his scheduled studio time fast-approaching, he decided to radically change his outlook on the creative process and incorporate this disaster into the recording of Part 2. He decided to record using only the instruments that were damaged in the move. Most of the instruments struggled to resonate, and often fell out of tune. Ryan alleges that “you can hear these instruments dying with every note.” But even with instruments on their deathbeds, Dreamend's new album is full of raw, gritty, and intensely personal sounds.
The album begins by throwing you headfirst into a whirling haze of buzzing basses, banjos, auto-harps, and heavily distorted vocals. The waves of sputters and buzzes periodically recede to reveal the album's folk-rock backbone, and are quickly built up again. The tales of two people run parallel to each other, the serial killer's told through the lyrics, and Ryan's through the pained ringings of crippled stringed instruments, the rattling of pill bottles used as makeshift percussion, and the analog groans of pedals, and synths that have seen better days. The album evinces melancholy at times, but even though it is what Ryan calls “real downer music,” there is still an air of triumph in almost every track – possibly the triumph over disaster. If anything, And the Tears Washed Me, Wave After Cowardly Wave shows that destruction can be embraced and rendered into an engine for creation.
Dreamend’s And the Tears Washed Me, Wave After Cowardly Wave is available on Graveface Records starting February 28th, 2012—and, subsequently, forever.