JONI EKMAN: Self-titled: LP

Joni Ekman is a Finnish punk and the man behind a laundry list of bands I’m not at all familiar with. Here, on his debut solo album, Ekman plays every instrument on an album of raw, garage rock’n’roll tunes. Guitar is clearly Ekman’s strength, as the Chuck Berry riffs and leads are written and played to perfection. Ekman’s entirely Finnish lead vocals alternate between a nasally Leonard Phillips thing and a falsetto style. While odd at first, after a couple songs it feels right for the lo-fi music surrounding it. From straight-up rock’n’roll to jangly power pop, and ending on what sounds like a traditional folk song (reminiscent of AC/DC’s Scottish-style B side oddity “Fling Thing”), this is a solid debut solo outing. –Chad Williams (Blast Of Silence, [email protected])