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Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Jul 28th, 2015

Samuel Claiborne: Love, Lust, and Genocide

sam cSamuel Claiborne
Love, Lust, and Genocide
(True Groove)

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Samuel Claiborne hails from Rosendale, New York, but he takes his influences from a wide world of sources. His new album, Love, Lust, and Genocide, presents a tapestry of interesting lyrics and sounds, presented with record label True Groove’s top-notch players. One of the best tunes of the nine here, “Say Goodbye To America,” opens. With kickin’ Mac Gollehon horns and a popping bass and drum mix from Kevin Jenkins and Mike Faulkner respectively, Claiborne’s wry lyrics get a solid airing. “The Lion and the Lamb,” a wholly different sounding tune, features Alan Grubner’s violin, again with a low Claiborne vocal, soft, sweet and perfect on this swinging, cool tune. Things end pretty desperately though, turning all that went before it on its head as the violin swirls. There is a metallic, scary version of “Hurt” here (it’s ok, but really, how many people from Johnny Cash to Kermit the Frog are going to cover this NIN tune?) Tight percussion from what I assume is Claiborne’s loops and light touches from Tomás Doncker’s guitar float under the narrative of what combat is like today in “21st Century War.” Yes, the lyrics might be a little heavy-handed, but I love all the loops slicing in with backing vocals from Heather Powell and Marla Mase on this Frank Zappa send-up. The big drum beat of last tune, “The Heart Is a Bomb,” with Jenkins’ equally big, high-tuned bass notes and again Tomás Doncker’s atmospheric touches (as well as loud leading) makes a bed under another statement vocal from Claiborne. Surely this is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, Clairborne is approaching his stuff like a siege, but these songs are well reasoned, the players super, and Samuel Claiborne has lots to say.

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Samuel Claiborne: Love, Lust, and Genocide