When you sit down to review a record, you go in with the goal of “figuring out” the record and the artist who made it. Then, in two or three paragraphs, you set out to tell your readers your conclusions. Well, when I sat down and listened to The Dex Romweber Duo’s new record, “Images 13”, my goal was shot to hell. In the twelve songs that make up the record, The Duo takes listeners on a journey of sounds and genres while creating an eclectic masterpiece.
The record opens up with a sonic guitar riff and brooding vocals on the first single, “Roll On.” Half-way through the track the song changes gears and takes on a surf sound. While the two styles don’t seem like they would mesh, The Dex Romweber Duo creates the perfect balance of each and delivers it with pin-point execution. This balance is continued throughout the rest of the record. Don’t be mistaken though, the sound does not end with grunge and surf. While these two elements are weaved in throughout the record, The Duo will take a sharp left turn just when you think you have them figured out. The Duo delivers a poppy version of The Who’s “So Sad About Us” that will have you swinging your head like you’re Ringo Starr. The record then shifts into a country vibe with “Beyond The Moonlight” which sounds like it could have come from Johnny Cash’s catalogue. And the song “One Sided Love Affair” is sure to please the most traditional country fan.
The album also features a number of instrumental songs. Normally, I find even one instrumental track can be a distraction and can totally derail the momentum of a record. I cannot stress enough that this is not the case on “Images 13.” Each of the four instrumentals on the record is unique and engaging. As much as I enjoy Romweber’s vocals, I forget to miss them because I am so into the sound that is coming through my speakers.
“Images 13” is going to be different things for different people. If you are like me, it is an introduction to the group, to others it is a continuation of a long legacy of music from Dex Romweber. Romweber has been making music since the early 1980’s. In 2007 he was joined by his sister, Sara Romweber, who plays drums in the Duo. If you are drawing a comparison in your mind to The White Stripes, you are right on. Jack White has named Dex Romweber as a major influence on his music. White is not alone, Romweber has influenced many artist over the course of his career.
It is a moot issue whether or not you have heard The Dex Romweber Duo before. Now is the perfect time. Be sure to pick up a copy of “Images 13” when it is released on March 18, 2014, and may it be only the start of your discovery of Dex Romweber and The Dex Romweber Duo.
Images 13 releases March 18, 2014 on Bloodshot Records. Pre-order your copy here.
Catch The Dex Romweber Duo when they play MOTR Pub on March13th!! Get the details here.