Review: Love, Lost and Genocide – Samuel Claiborne

It’ll take more than a serious spinal cord injury to keep this guy down. Never the one to give up on hope, he went on mental journey of self-discovery as well as trying to make sense of numerous injustice in today’s society. Now fully recovered, he dust himself off and documented his experience through his latest album, “Love, Lost and Genocide”, released late last month.

The True Groove recruit kicks off the 9-track production with a 60s-inspired rock effort, “Say Goodbye To America”. Drench with heavy guitars riffs coupled with downtrodden vocals, the intro track gives the impression that the album is heading downing the decade of peace and love…but it switches, getting slightly lighter with another 60s-inspired number “Hungering For Strange” and a more modern rock effort, “The Lion and the Lamb”, where the presence of the violin gives the recording a country/folky feel.

Then the album comes to an unexpected surprise, when the seasoned New York rocker fused unlikely concoctions with mysterious “Succulence (Blasphemy)”. The Eastern influence perfectly exists with hints of tribal and the occasional chanting of bells.  Taking another detour, “Love, Lost and Genocide” switches to 90s-inspired grunge with Nirvana-esque single “Hurt” and beautifully-sedated, “Broken”. With the guitar becoming less aggressive, the latter single is probably the best song of the album and it would fare well in the mainstream charts.

Seventh effort, “21st Century War” is a bit of a peculiar number. Featuring Talking Heads -style new wave/psychedelic rock, it also has strong tribal influences injecting now and then throughout the single. It sounds like a collaboration between Talking Heads and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Does it work? Strangely it does. The album switches back to the 90’s-style grunge, with the heavy guitar riffs making one more last return with “Unbound” before turning down a few notches with bass-driven but somewhat smooth single, “The Heart Is A Bomb.”

“Love, Lost and Genocide” is strong proof that Claiborne didn’t develop his craft overnight. Before his injury, the award-winning poet was a movement in the New York’s no-wave scene during the eighties, playing in bands including The Wolves and Things Fall Apart. With ridiculously-satisfying fusions of unlikely genres,  it’s definitely worth giving the album a trial.

Start off by listening to lead single, “Say Goodbye To America.”