Some album names call out for notice, Love, Lust and Genocide is one such album. Samuel Claiborne is a multi-talented man who participated in the music scene during the 80’s, he was in bands such as The Wolves and When Things Fall Apart. Aside from music he has won several awards for poetry and has been published in the Voices of the Valley, Belle Fourche and more. Samuel Claiborne’s new album dips into the strange but how deep does it go?
“Soldiers and police, I can’t tell them apart.”
First off, the album is just over 40 minutes with a total of nine tracks, one of them being a cover of “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails. Although he plays a vast array of instruments across this alternative rock album, Claiborne receives help from the True-Groove All-Stars when it comes to things like bass, drums, and backing vocals.
Each track has a lot to say, the album opener for example speaks to the topic of freedom and the lives of those in America. The track implements horns to lighten the mood and keep the focus on that strong alternative rock feel (guitar solo included).
“Hungering for Strange” adds more grunge to the mix and lets the listener in on a big secret, and that is how odd the album can get. Track three, “The Lion and the Lamb” is the most yawn-worthy song on the album, with a standard song structure and very repetitive chorus, the added strings in this track are the most redeeming quality.
Track four “Succulence (Blasphemy)” dives into the strange with slow spaced percussion and the most unexpected instruments of the album. Although different, this track fits the album theme exceptionally well. Track five is a cover of “Hurt” by Trent Reznor. The song makes excellent use of echo with electric guitar chords. Claiborne’s vocals are rumbly enough to feel like the Johnny Cash rendition of the song more so than the original.
Track six “Broken” is very somber and honest. The distant guitar and brushes on the drums allow the focus to remain on the vocals which harmonize very well. The last three songs of the album use rhythm and spoken word to bring raw views to the listener in a direct and smooth fashion.
One thing that Claiborne does well is speaking; simply speaking. It might not sound flashy, but it is difficult to do tastefully as it goes through content much faster than singing and can make a track feel awkward and off beat.
“Our wars are all about honor.”
The album holds more strength in its lyrical content than it actually does in its musical enjoyment. It is not hard to listen to by any means, but it is something more likely appreciated in big gaps, similar to the way a mature movie might carry meaning yet not be something to revisit often. The musical stylings of Claiborne stopped for over a decade due to a spinal cord injury. He has since recovered. Aside from music, Claiborne is known for his poetry, essays, photography and more. With his reemergence into music, alternative rock wins a victory with the addition of Love, Lust and Genocide. The album certainly has an ability to interest the listener with musical content not usually found in music.
Underground Examinations is a series of Independent Music Reviews with the intention of giving new music a fair and appropriate opportunity to be enjoyed.