Written by Carcassbomb
“I feel dead like my government name”
A powerful album from a powerful person. To summarise it as briefly as possible: it’s an assault on the establishment through a very current lens. On this new album I LIE HERE BURIED WITH MY RINGS AND MY DRESSES, Backxwash annihilates us with each track, taking on subject matter ranging from transphobia and ACAB to colonialism and anarchy. Moving away from religion which was the primary focus of her previous work God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It, although religion is certainly a part of systemic oppression and still gets it’s mentions. You’ve likely heard about this one even all over the online metal scene, and that’s because this album goes HARD.
I’m stoked I get to cover a rap album on here, it’s not everyday an album is relevant enough to metal for review on here. Rap is the genre where I started my music journey and it will always be a huge part of my listening. ILHBWMRAMD is considered horrorcore which is a genre that has been steadily rising in popularity with acts like $uicideboy$ in recent times and metalheads will be familiar with the likes of Insane Clown Posse back in the day but this differs from much of the genre in that it isn’t fixated on abstract horrors and self-aggrandization. The horror here is real and it surrounds us, particularly those of us who do not fit neatly into the status quo which this album very explicitly goes into, it’s not vague that’s for sure. It also goes beyond merely horror in theme and also adopts a lot of heavier industrial style beats and metal adjacent screaming. The result is a colossal punch in the face.
In this current social context, the opening sample on “PURPOSE OF PAIN” is a fantastic choice to illustrate the point of our suffering – to let us know that something is wrong. On a structural level, everything is indeed wrong. From the top down, meaning from the highest official authority all the way down to our own beloved family members, there is a systematic problem of ignorance and intolerance killing the population. We live inside of a bigoted society and you can expect the lyrics to reflect this in a big way. There’s some huge contributions from featuring artists such as Censored Dialogue and ADA Rook who are also given a platform to vent and destroy. There is no filler on this album, the intro sample loads you into the barrel and fire shot after shot and not one bullet misses which isn’t always the case on an album this collaborative.
It’s got a very natural flow but it also has a heap of groove that gets the energy pumping and fists swinging, many of my readers were likely big fans of Ex-Military by Death Grips which next to Dalek is one of the few comparisons to come to mind for Backxwash. You’ll notice producer credits mostly going to Backxwash herself which is impressive considering more often than not the vocal and producer roles are split between two talents, but she smashes both no problem. There’s also two tracks with guest producers, most notably Clipping and Nowhere2run who don’t break the flow one bit but after listening to this album dozens of times you can definitely hear what they are bringing to those tracks.
These additional voices on top of an already solid foundation make for a lot of memorable moments. “Blood in the water” will always give me goosebumps and the first set of screams on the record with “Wail Of The Banshee” are adrenaline fuelled. I love how well everything ties into the cryptid identity of the artist. If you aren’t aware of cryptid identities and neo-pronouns then look into it and learn. That’s a great thing about this album, is that Backxwash doesn’t represent a submissive educator to the ignorant, pleading that people understand her position, her lessons are taught through fire. You’re either on her side or the wrong side of history.
When compared to it’s previous album GHNTDWTLHOOT (which I’ve also listened to about a dozen times in the last week) is super solid but there’s clear improvements on ILBWMRAMD. Previously you could hear far more space, more low key chill moments and hauntings whereas here it’s just an onslaught, it’s so aggressive and abrasive for every minute of its runtime. GHNTDWTLHOOT is still very much worth listening to, it’s a different beast and you know I loved that Eraserhead sample. Where previously there would have been more atmospherics, there is instead more noise making for an overall more unsettling experience.. Lyrically she has advanced as well, moving away from more simple (but very memorable) phrasings and into lengthier and profound lyrics that hit like a call to arms against the tyrants.
It’s bold across the board and despite being so specific to America in much of the lyrics, there’s something here for trans and nonbinary people worldwide, and it’s not just exclusive to that either – there’s plenty here to relate to from the perspective of general feminism and anti-capitalist/anti-fascist radicalisation. This is a fucking war album. I’m a nonbinary Australian and I appreciate the solidarity and frustration of the messaging behind this album and her ability to weaponize her vulnerability. At the end of the day, most western societies strive for one thing and that is to re-enforce the status quo and dominate anything to the contrary. I LIE HERE BURIED WITH MY RRINGS AND MY DRESSES is exactly what the music world needs right now in the face of endless bullshit. Especially right on the heels of a very sanitised and corporate pride month.
When I say this is a very serious contender for album of the year I mean that as in fuck you this rap album is going to beat out droves of metal albums. Not to put undue pressure on the artist but I cannot even begin to imagine how to top this accomplishment.