T. Grave and Reyna Kay
Blessure Grave, the San Diego goth rockers cloaked in gloom and shrouded in melody, are living proof that love hurts.
The duo, composed of boyfriend and girlfriend T. Grave and Reyna Kay, is an amalgam of dour tales, busted hopes and cracked expectations set to spooky guitars buttressed by ear-catching hooks and mounds of texture. And that's just the music.
Visually, the pair encompasses the well-worn predilection for black and all things macabre that has cheesily accompanied their genre since inception. However, this is more than just another shoe-gazing, Cramps-worshipping, horror-flick-loving operation. Blessure Grave may project an image that's rather ghoulish and void of an emotion as enrapturing as love, but make no mistake about it, this outfit is as confessional as a sworn witness. Kay, who writes all the lyrics, spills her vivid tales and images of love and pain from the deepest depths of her gut.
“Reyna's lyrics… they come from a place of raw honesty that's very autobiographical,” Grave says. “In fact, they're so honest that, at times, it's hard for her to listen back to our songs.”
Well, if there's a single ingredient holding enough weight to make a band or song ascend above commonplace regurgitated schlock, it's honesty, and it's here where Blessure Grave succeeds. The songs, both creepy and beautiful, come from a place built on the relationship between the composers.
In fact, Grave, who writes all the music, doesn't assemble a single chord or rhythm until he's read his girlfriend's words. Getting a vibe from her sentiments, his compositions play like an ongoing dialog with her prose. For that reason, Blessure Grave stand out in a genre filled with calculated wannabes trying to harness their inner Vincent Price without really revealing any sense of authenticity.
“The two of us met at a strange time in our lives when we had both gone through a lot of painful experiences, and this has kind of been a way for us to work all of that stuff out,” Grave says. “It wasn't something we really planned out; it just kind of happened.”
Still, when the person you're writing and recording with is also your main squeeze, there are bound to be some additional wrinkles in the program, right?
“It's a part of our relationship, but sometimes we have to step away from it for a while if things get too heated…. We're pretty used to it by now.”
Whatever force enjoins these two has been prolific. Grave estimates that he and Kay have composed between 60 and 70 songs during the past two years, recording the bulk of them at home on an eight-track recorder. After several smaller releases, the band recently issued its debut, Judged by Twelve, Carried by Six.
There will be several local shows to support the set, followed by a showcase at South by Southwest in March, but world domination is not the goal here. Grave bides his spare time in school studying to be a pharmacy tech while Kay explores the ins and outs of relationships as a marriage-and-family therapist. Given their schedules, extended time on the road doesn't really appear viable. That said, Grave has not ruled out a full-time career in music should the cards fall into place—it's just that he's a realist.
“There will be no yearlong world tours or anything like that for us,” Grave says. “I think at one time that may have been a goal for me, but it was never a goal for Reyna. I finally reached a point where I realized that this is more than likely temporary, and putting everything that I have into it is not really what I want to do.” Blessure Grave play with Christian Death, Order of the Fly and Eternal Unborn on Sunday, Feb. 14, at Brick by Brick. They also play with Blacklisted, OK? and Nails on Sunday, Feb. 21, at Che Café.