Toronto based folk singer/songwriter Carl Lorusso has released his fourth studio album “Murder Tools”, it’s grimy and more vulnerable than ever. With Carl’s riveting lyrics and Harrison Fine’s high-quality engineering, “Murder Tools” is an impressive dive into the psyche of a troubled soul. His wordplay was strategically raw, and although his flows seemed forced, they came from an honest home, something a true lyricist never gives up.
The first song on the record is Six Ton Burden Blues. It sets up the theme with a struggle filled drunken night. Carl’s voice is eerie and mysterious. His mind goes places an average person can not. He introduces the first meaning of murder tools here with the line “See I’ve been shaping life into a dead man’s shoes/With a shine on my knife and all my other murder tools”. Here “murder tools” having a more external outcome while later it becomes internal. Six Ton Burden Blues is choppy but truthful with a catchy hook. The background vocals give Carl’s rhythm more comfort, and his demanding voice space to air.
“It’s been a long trip out of non-existence and I’m tired/ God protect, this blessed inner silence/ And the silent imposition, I’ve gone fishing with the pirates”
This may be my favorite line on the project. I love the wordplay in the song Fishing with the Pirates. Something Carl Lorusso Jr. does very well is use excessive alliteration to his advantage. With his ability to stick to a script, the alliteration keeps the story on pace.
The advancing tempo on the track Back to Her slowly raises your heart rate while also breaking it. The harmonics are soothing and the guitar line is nice, but again, his lyrics shine. Telling a sequence of three scenarios, he talks himself into healthier responsibilities while seemingly trying to recover from the night before. While in the end thinking of his girl that he has neglected and realizing that now that he has taken care of himself, he needs to think of her too. The instrumentation was lacking but not necessary as the story speaks its own volume.
The following tracks Crooked Die, and Garden of Doubt are where Carl really utilizes his producers skills and they connect on tempo and flows. Playing with some conventional samples and experimental mixes, these tracks give the project a nice bounce that doesn’t escape the court. They maintain composure while giving the sounds diversity. The last two songs close out the album on a somber note. It left me empathetic and as a listener that is important. I believed his words and the feelings were transparent. His impressive wordplay continues as he paints us a picture of his emotions through metaphors and idioms.
Carl Lorusso Jrs. newest album is brilliant, experimental, and raw, and you can listen to it here along with the rest of his gritty folk discography. “Murder Tools” is an example of contemporary exploration and independent honesty.