With a name like Clawjob, I expected “Manifest Destiny” to be a nightmarish tale of getting hand release from a witch. But I found that while the band has its hard side, it’s capable of softer, meditative songs as well, like the opening cut, “Era of Good Feelings.” The band describes the album as six songs about 19th-century America, but at it’s core the album is contemporary, singing of universal themes like death and drugs. As their name suggests, the album has hardcore influences, yet it’s not just a bunch of screaming and power chords.
The band picked “Diamond Hoax” as the single, which features dramatic vocals, crashing cymbals, and a heavy, almost Fugazi-ish bassline. It’s an obvious pick for the single, as it’s probably the most mainstream song on the record and the tempo is an urgent march, but it’s not even my favorite track here. The lyrics on “Slice Me Up” hit me right where I live, being that I’ve had several major operations and almost died twice due to my various medical maladies. The lyric, “I wanna live to see another day/this is the only way/so slice me up,” is pretty much the mantra I chanted waiting for the drugs to take me away.
And some older songs from their previous work: