Scrapomatic – Scrapomatic – Lancia Media vinyl

by | Jan 5, 2012 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

Scrapomatic – Scrapomatic – Lancia Media Factory LMF7003 180-gram audiophile vinyl LMF7003, 39:21 ***1/2:
(Mike Mattison – vocals; Paul Olsen – acoustic, electric guitar, vocals; Lawrence Sieberth – keyboards, musical director; Bob Sunda – acoustic, electric bass; John Vidacovich – drums; with Charlene Howard – background vocals; Marc Broussard – background vocals; Al Berard – violin, mandolin, acoustic guitar; Danny Collet – accordion; Sonny Landreth – slide guitar; Chris Belleau – harmonica, trombone; Marshall Cyr – trumpet; Richard Comeaux – pedal steel guitar; Jason Crosby – violin
If you take a little bit of soul, add a big dose of rockin’ blues, throw in some rootsy country…then you may understand the band, Scrapomatic. Started In Minneapolis by singer Mike Mattison and guitarist Paul Olsen, this duo became a staple of the local blues scene. They have opened for the Derek Trucks Band (Mattison is also their lead vocalist) and Susan Tedeschi. Despite their limited commercial exposure, they caught on In Brooklyn, New York and even played Carnegie Hall, and released three albums, the last in 2008.
Lancia Media Factory has released their self-titled debut (from 2003) on audiophile vinyl. [We reviewed it back then as a combination 96K/24-bit DVD + CD + MP3 Download with a different cover. The video portion was said to be nothing special, so this vinyl release of just the hi-res music makes a lot of sense…Ed.].  Under the direction of keyboardist/arranger Lawrence Sieberth, nine songs featuring a variety of arrangements are supplemented by a cadre of New Orleans musicians.
The opening track on Side A, (a Mattison/Olsen original) “Moanin’” has an electric guitar hook (Olsen) and organ (Sieberth) riff that invokes the spirit of Memphis soul, like “Mustang Sally”. There are subtle touches including violin (Jason Crosby), trumpet (Marshall Cyr) and mandolin (Al Berard) that make the sound non-derivative. An enticing accordion (Danny Collett) creates a “circus” feel Mattison’s offers snarling vocals in true bluesman style. On “Man Gone, Need Drink” Olsen’s distorted guitar runs merge with Mattison’s wails to a rock and soul crescendo before a fading ending. A couple of departures (the Eagles-like folksy “I’ll Be Around” and the falsetto-laden “Bubble Gum Song”) slow the momentum. However a spooky weird tango rhythm energizes “I Need New Blood”. Bassist Bob Sunda maintains the deliberate pace with forceful play. Accordion and violin in tandem sketch an organic resonance to romantic eeriness.
Side B kicks off with a raucous number, “Apocalypse Blues”. Mattison delivers his strongest, nastiest singing while Chris Belleau contributes roadhouse attitude on harmonica. Veteran Sonny Landreth chips in with some lithe slide guitar. A standout is the reworking of Mississippi John Hurt’s vampy, “Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me”. A catchy New Orleans arrangement is augmented by a great honky tonk piano solo by Sieberth and a strutting trombone by Belleau. Sandwiched between these two cuts are a smooth gospel song (“Transition”) and a down and dirty rhythm and blues opus (“Lovefreak”).
The sound quality of this vinyl pressing is excellent [and the price is also the lowest of any of the audiophile vinyl reissue labels, another attraction…Ed.]. It’s also available as a 24/96 HD download. Scrapomatic was an auspicious debut.
Side A: Moanin’; Man Gone, Need Drink; I’ll Be Around; Bubble Gum Song; I Need New Blood
Side B: Apocalypse Blues; Lovefreak; Transition Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me
—Robbie Gerson

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