This idea of alien pursuers is a new one: In the past, Dexter Romweber has always played and sung like he had hellhounds on his trail. Whether performing and recording as half of the Flat Duo Jets or commanding a stage all by his lonesome, Romweber has always made a righteous racket that refused to be defined by something as trivial as the number of personnel.
Joined by drummer Sam "Crash LaResh" Sandler and a handful of one or two-shot guests, Romweber tears through 18 songs like a double-parked fugitive, style hopping across primal rock and its stepbrother, rockabilly, as well as surf and anything else cooked up in a garage sometime in the last 50 years. Actually, he does slow down twice: Once on the sweeping ballad, "To Lose You," one of 10 Romweber-penned tunes on the album, and again on the equally dramatic, album-closing version of Charlie Rich's "Feel Like Going Home." The rest of the time he can be found blasting out the Eddie Cochran instrumental "Guybo," then following it with a near-skiffle version of The Who's "The Seeker." (Clever pairing that one, when you remember The Who's ear-rattling take on Cochran's classic, "Summertime Blues.") Elsewhere, Dex brings such names as Ben Hewitt ("My Search") or Sun Records rockabilly hero Johnny Carroll ("Rockin' Maybelle") back into your life--or, in my case, introduced me to them. Half of the originals are instrumentals, each with just the right amount of grease, roar, and/or tomfoolery. Special nods go to "Do the Lurd!!" with its Hasil Adkins-worthy title and "Walkin' with Scary Hillbilly Monsters," the theme song to the drive-in movie of Joe Bob Briggs' dreams.
For now, let's pray that Romweber keeps moving and stays a half-step ahead of whatever it is that's chasing him.