The opening notes of Damion Suomi’s Self Titled offer little more than a songwriter, a unique voice, and his guitar. But first impressions are deceiving, and it quickly becomes apparent that this young Floridian offers far more than standard coffee-shop fare.
That’s not to say that this is the album Suomi was born to make. In fact, it ranges from brilliant to banal. Suomi shines brightly on the spirited “Darwin, Jesus, The Devil, And Me,” the instrumentation surging to a vibrant crescendo, and he delivers on the charging, direct “Save Your Ass." The well-formed execution of those compositions (along with a couple of others), is unfortunately countered by the cheeky “What A Wonderful Game” and the intoxicated “Sunday Morning,” exposing an artist not-yet-sure of where his true strengths lie. Instead, they reveal a penchant for barroom sing-alongs and numbers destined for co-ed bonfire booze-fests.
Suomi makes a relevant effort with Self Titled. While not one of those rare, first attempt check-mates in the music world, it is a confident move in the right direction. Given time and experience, Suomi should delve deeper into the brooding depictions and pensive playing of which he is naturally capable.
Self Titled is out now on P is for Panda.