While she’s been exploring witchy and horrorcore aesthetics combined with trap and industrial metal, it wasn’t until Backxwash’s 2020 album “God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It” that I feel Backxwash turned it from an experiment/gimmick into a fully realized sound, being my second favorite album of the year and garnering her a huge amount of attention with a lot of anticipation for how she follows it up. That followup, which happens to be the second part of what’s going to be a trilogy, came only a year later in the form of “I LIE HERE BURIED WITH MY RINGS AND MY DRESSES”, where Backxwash takes the horrific soundscape of her previous record to absolutely freakish levels.
While there are some notable changes in sound between this record and “God Has Nothing…”, chances are if you were a fan of that album then this will be easy to get into. The distorted industrial drums are still here, the unique sample integration spanning various genres haven’t left, the vocal snippets are still included, it’s just as much a hip-hop record as it is a metal album and as it is a hellish soundscape. What’s different though is that instead of a feeling of dread like something dangerous is following you fifteen feet away, “I LIE HERE BURIED WITH MY RINGS AND MY DRESSES” feels like it has finally got you in its hands and you’re struggling to get away. The guitars are ripping through, the samples are more twisted, the dark atmosphere is like being fully sucked into hell, Backxwash’s vocals are much more intense and demonic like. The best way I can describe the difference in sound on this album is that Backxwash’s role within the noise has changed. On “God Has Nothing…”, Backxwash was a victim of the horror, showing you a look inside her mind to see the pain she is experiencing. However, on “I LIE HERE BURIED…”, Backxwash is the cause of the horror and noise, embracing the anger within her and the role of the demonic princess and fighting back against what was eating at her on the previous album.
It’s easy to see why Backxwash lashes out in anger once you take a look at the lyrics, which I think are often not highlighted enough when people talk about her work. Backxwash is a black, trans, immigrant woman that grew up in a very religious environment, and while my experience is only connected in one of those areas, I can tell you that while being trans can be fulfilling it is also fucking exhausting. It changes your relationship with everyone especially the ones you care about, it makes people leave you, it affects how you see yourself and your self worth, it makes hateful people treat you as subhuman, it puts a target on your back that could put you in danger or even killed and you’re constantly paranoid that it’s going to happen to you even in safe spaces. I have to imagine being a black immigrant with religious trauma while being trans is much more exhausting than my experience to say the least, and the fact that she still has to deal with it literally from papers writing articles as they misgender is as aggravating as it is heartbreaking. It’s no wonder that she often paints god on this album as someone who is uncaring and malevolent or why she resorts to vices such as alcohol and drugs. Society treats people like Backxwash as the literal devil, it’s only fair that she embraces the role that is forced onto her.
It’s clear now that Backxwash has tapped into something truly special that is a musically expressive listen while also connecting to many people in a cathartic way. I’ll still need some more listens to determine whether I prefer “God Has Nothing…” or “I LIE HERE BURIED WITH MY RINGS AND MY DRESSES”, but this is as solid of a sequel as it gets and I’m excited to see how she concludes this trilogy. Backxwash’s open honesty about what she goes through makes her a hero for so many people who have gone through the same or similar things, and when Backxwash wins we all win.