Dex Romweber gets mad | Record Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Dex Romweber gets mad 

05.21musreviews_dexromweberduo.jpg

On the title track of 2011's Is That You in the Blue?, Dex Romweber had a wish and a little evil in his eyes: "I hope you find loneliness within whatever dark night you're in." But the new Images 13 opens with "Roll On," a glance in the rear view, his voice cutting over a simmering blues rave-up. "I didn't want to lose you," he sings. "But that's the nature of the game." It's not as simple as turning the key in the ignition; his lover's memory haunts every single track of this post-breakup album. The anger has drained away, revealing a still-tender, Rorschach-shaped scab.

Romweber acknowledges the travail with the very next song, "Long Battle Coming," a '60s garage-soul stunner that reads like a palindrome, in that its sentiment works well looking backward or forward. Has this "long storm brewing" come or gone? Romweber slithers for the zipper with the jazzy pop-torch "Baby I Know What It's Like To Be Alone," which suspends its hungry heart like bait on a hook. Even then, the memory's never far away. Romweber returns to the thought of his past with a cover of The Who's wonderfully buoyant "So Sad About Us," teaming with Southern Culture on the Skids' Mary Huff to channel Neil Diamond.

Despite the upheaval, Images 13 stands among Romweber's best by balancing his charging rockabilly and roots with other stylistic interests. There are spy- and slinking-rock instrumentals, as well as a deliciously creepy cover of Harry Lubin's "Weird (Aurora Borealis)," haunted here by a Theremin. There's a bouncy, handclapping folk cover of Johnny Burnette's biting "One Sided Love Affair," too.

The album's centerpiece, the crooner ballad "I Don't Want to Listen," might be the most surprising look of all. Here, Romweber's loping majesty recalls Sinatra's "My Way." Stranded in the depths of a purgatorial depression, Romweber seems to favor neither life nor death. Instead, he stands still, bidding "farewell" repeatedly as the music swells to a close. It's unusual for him to cut an album with such an emotional laser, but that poignancy serves as the basis for a 30-minute set that's as vibrant, eclectic and lived-in as anything Romweber has ever produced.

Label: Bloodshot Records

This article appeared in print with the headline "The savages"

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Record Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

DJWurkz just become a new fan! I will see them live at first opportunity I get.

by Keith Ramon DjWurkz on Record Review: Youth League's Second EP Is a Propulsive, Powerful Effort (Record Review)

I'm all in on this album. Love the sound, love Amelia's soaring vocals. She brings a humanizing element to electronic …

by aburtch on Record Review: Sylvan Esso Refines its Slick Synth Pop Formula on What Now (Record Review)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

DJWurkz just become a new fan! I will see them live at first opportunity I get.

by Keith Ramon DjWurkz on Record Review: Youth League's Second EP Is a Propulsive, Powerful Effort (Record Review)

I'm all in on this album. Love the sound, love Amelia's soaring vocals. She brings a humanizing element to electronic …

by aburtch on Record Review: Sylvan Esso Refines its Slick Synth Pop Formula on What Now (Record Review)

This record is "All Over the Place". I mean that in the best way possible.

by hubbble on Record Review: Trust Trandle's Comfortable Instrumental Hip-Hop (Record Review)

Love it! All the songs are beautiful!

by Jon Champion on Record Review: The Return of The Veldt, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation, Is Great (Record Review)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation