My Way To Hell, Jimi Lipponen & The Kummitusjuna
GTE International, GteCD001

After doing some reading on the web I found that Jimi Lipponen & The Kummitusjuna are actually quite a legendary band in and around Finland, with band members history going back to early 80s. I must admit that I had never heard of 'em until Perttu sent me an e-mail asking if I would review their new CD. Since I'm always interested in something new (new for me in this case) I gladly agreed, and here it is...

The band's name is Finnish, I'm not even gonna try to pronounce "Kummitusjuna", and don't ask what it means, I haven't got a clue. Luckily the songs are all in English, otherwise I would have been in deep trouble now. The 13 songs are a mix of country-rock, rhythm & blues, and downright rock 'n' roll. Usually all Hell and Damnation points towards psychobilly, but despite the title of this album "My Way To Hell", the contents have little to do with psycho or any other rockabilly spin-off, it's mostly plain rock 'n' roll, Paladins style. They did put in some coversongs that came from another world, or actually another genre, but I think you will agree that it's a long way from Elvis Presley to AC/DC.

The album starts by blowing my speakers off the shelf (just kidding) with the fast rolling bass-lines and snearing lead instros on "Freeride". If your record collection contains Carl Perkins, Johnny Burnette et all, do not file this under rockbilly. It sure roll, although the sound is closer to late 60s Classic Rock. "Highway To Hell" is more country-influenced, the modern side of country that is, not the Hank Williams style. "Is This Bar Moving" is a song to make you think things over, you might have had a drink or so too many. "Big Little Bertha" is a straight forward self-penned rock 'n' roll song, mean guitars and a boppin' rhythm with lotsa voodoo drums.

More down to earth rocking with "Comic Of Love" and a little more country in "Drink My Wife Away" (David Allen Coe). A prayer to the King is to follow on "Good Morning Elvis", quote: "Good morning Elvis where ever you are, I feel so lonely I could die...". Nice one! "Malibu Beach Nightmare" is a cover of Hanoi Rocks. I actually had to look this up, because I never heard of Hanoi Rocks before, but I reckon it would be my kinda music anyway. But Young Jessie's "Mary Lou" is right down my alley, a great classic and a great rendition. And the rocking keeps going on with "S.O.B." with guest singer Sonja Ryhänen, and no I'm not gonna explain to the squares what SOB means, LOL.

Stomping right through with a hard knocking Teddy Boy song "Brand New Sideburns". My favorite track on this album for sure, cool bopping! "My Mama Told Me" is more traditional rock 'n' roll, although still with a scorching guitar. And look mama what they've done with "Viva Las Vegas", not bad at all. Strong ongoing drums and bass rhythm. I think Elvis would approve, and it lasts for about 4 minutes too. And just when you think it's all over, there's about 20 seconds of silence after Viva, the room is suddenly filled with an awful lot of noise and screaming. I guess the band still needed to unload some built-up energy, but it has little to do with rock or roll.

This album is not traditional rockabilly, but I did enjoy listening to it (well, except for the explosive ending that is).

The line-up:
Jimi Lipponen - Guitars, Vocals
Ilkka Pyykkönen - Drums
Jyrki Säppi - Bass, Vocals
Perttu Penttinen - Guitars, Vocals

Contact information:
Perttu Penttinen
Suksikatu 5 B
87150 Kajaani
Finland (English) (Finnish)

Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2003