From the salvaged sounds of American juke joints, back porches, honky tonks and rock clubs, The Suitcase Junket conjures an entirely new sound. The Suitcase Junket is Matt Lorenz: artist, tinkerer, swamp yankee, one man band. His worn voice rises over the grind of a tube-amped dumpster guitar, veering unexpectedly into crescendos of wild overtone and throat singing. His set lists are made of original rock anthems, mountain ballads, blues manifestos and dance hall festivity, played on instruments built of broken bottles, twisted forks, dried bones, gas cans, shoes, saw blades, a toy keyboard, and an overhead compartments worth of luggage. Lorenz employs his rig in the service of songs that are rootsy, melodic, full of meaning--confronting with playfulness and handcraft a world that could so easily buckle under its burden of technology and ambition.
The latest album from The Suitcase Junket, Mean Dog, Trampoline is populated by characters in various states of reverie: leaning on jukeboxes, loitering on dance floors, lying on the bottoms of empty swimming pools in the sun. Despite being deeply attuned to the chaos of the world, singer/songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist Matt Lorenz imbues those moments with joyful wonder, an endless infatuation with lifes most subtle mysteries. And as its songs alight on everything from Joan Jett to moonshine to runaway kites, Mean Dog, Trampoline makes an undeniable case for infinite curiosity as a potent antidote to jadedness and despair.
Produced by Steve Berlin (Jackie Greene, Rickie Lee Jones, Leo Kottke) of Los Lobos, Mean Dog, Trampoline marks a deliberate departure from the self-recorded, homespun approach of The Suitcase Junkets previous efforts. In creating the album, Lorenz pulled from a fantastically patchwork sonic palette, shaping his songs with elements of jangly folk, fuzzed-out blues, oddly textured psych-rock. Engineered by Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., Speedy Ortiz) and mixed by Vance Powell (Jack White, Houndmouth), Mean Dog, Trampoline rightly preserves The Suitcase Junkets unkempt vitality, but ultimately emerges as his most powerfully direct album so far.
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