Dreamend's second of two albums based, at least according to the artist, on the journal of a serial killer found at an auction, And the Tears Washed Me, Wave After Cowardly Wave is the kind of thing that is emblematic -- perhaps too emblematic -- of 21st century indie as grandiose elaborate project, no matter what the background. This ultimately derives from the fact that no matter what inspired this album, there's something very Flaming Lips about it, where death and potential mayhem all get lost a bit in a swathe of swelling songs and higher-pitched vocals that suggest sweet whimsy more than doom and gloom. Certainly a lyrical moment like "I see your face again/It's cold and it haunts me" on "Cold and Dead," set against a brisk strum and gentle chimes, actually does work, but there's also something about the idea of turning the concept of murder and mental torment into something with the tone of a slightly worn amusement park that is as skew-whiff as potentially spot-on. Meanwhile, the idea of swathed and buried and attractive guitar pop of sorts has gone through enough iterations that another example of it is neither remarkable in and of itself nor objectionable on its own face. So hearing the combination of echo-heavy vocals and precise banjo and flute-like tones and more on the opening "Another Day" seems like a logical endpoint. Still, when it all works, it does so nicely enough. "Mothers" has a bit of a fragile edge, vocals and guitar like a tense, trebly shout against a high drone, a stripping away of the float for something a little more unsettled. "Your Apparition Stays with Me Still" wraps up on a nicely mid-range note, something not quite triumphant but that still feels a little majestic, its slower pace and steady drumming heading toward a final end.