Damion Suomi – Self Titled (CD)

If Billy Bragg, God forbid, decided to finally put his guitar back in his case and call it a day, rest assured Damion Suomi would be ready to pick up the slack. Playing the role of folksy, rock-tinged singer songwriter, Florida-based Suomi has turned in a fantastic debut. Comprised of just 10 songs, there is little filler on the self-titled record and plenty to leave the listener wanting more. Songs like the album opener “Archer Woman” and “What a Wonderful Game,” an ode to drinking and hooking up, best show off Suomi’s stripped down sound.

Drinking, in fact, is a reoccurring theme throughout the record, making Damion a prime contender for America’s answer to Ireland’s barroom poets. Filled with acoustic guitars and the occasional pedal steel, Suomi’s songs play a tug of war between alt country (“One More Time”) and traditional Irish sing alongs (“San Francisco”). One of the first singings to the recently-launched label P is for Panda, Suomi is clearly destined for big things.

Top Tracks: “Archer Woman,” “What a Wonderful Game,” “Sunday Morning” and “San Francisco”

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Damion Suomi / CD / 2008 / P is for Pandas and Hopeless / 10 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/damionsuomi

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