Samuel Claiborne has stolen a place in my musical heart.
His latest release, Love, Lust, and Genocide, is a pseudo-#grunge essay that deconstructs the ever-changing nature of #America and it’s citizens. There are nine #tracks, each one with scalding #guitar work and mental-damaging intelligence. The opening of Love brings us back to an earlier time in #music, before the constant struggles of Pitchfork hipster and the constant need to know what “good music” is. “Say Goodbye to America” sounds like something both Dylan and Cobain would be proud of, and by the end of the tune, Claiborne delivers the perfect template for the rest of the album.
If you listen closely, your ears will grasp the amount of care that this True Groove Recorder has for the country he lives in. There is a LOT of political talk, enough to make you learn by the time this album leaves your doldrums. Sexuality is discussed in great lengths, and “Lion and the Lamb” is a definite favorite of mine, boosted to heavenly heights with the help of Alan Grubner on violin.
However, rather than being preachy, Samuel deconstructs his beliefs with storytelling swing and individual reliability. Unlike most performers, this man hasn’t a mask to hide behind. Love, Lust, and Genocide is an album by an artist who doesn’t care what people think. All he wants is to make American people question the land they freely live in. And with that sense of looking for true answers, Claiborne unearths enough variety of genres to keep even #Miles Davis listening. There’s rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, mantras of spoken word babble, and a shivering atmosphere for an artist most people haven’t had the pleasure of hearing. His cover of “Hurt” doesn’t even sound like a cover. It’s an tender re-imagining, one that leads perfectly into “Broken.” The #song is the most personal one Sam shares with us, detailing Sam’s former life as a paraplegic with clear and concise imagery.
Claiborne is an artist that is unafraid to sound the way he wants and this album will hopefully find him the audience he deserves. He could give a flying fuck about what is popular and “hip,” making him a figure to respect in my eyes. After all, he is a product of the 80’s no-wave scene.
Emotionally corrosive and heavy on intelligence, Love, Lust, and Genocide is one of my favorite releases of the year. Hear it for yourself.