Long before the Black Keys and White Stripes were dishing out raunchy blues infused rock with just an old guitar and drum set there was Dex Romweber. Barreling out of the South Romweber’s band Flat Duo Jets (FDJ) was the perfect mix of rockabilly, blues and good old fashioned rock n roll as they doled out fresh music with a classic feel. With FDJ in his rearview mirror the music kept coming in the form of solo albums and the original incarnation of the Dex Romweber Duo. Skip ahead to present day and the re-formatted Duo is hitting its stride, now joined by his sister Sara on drums a renascence of sorts is taking place as the Romweber sibling’s tunes invade listener’s ears taking them to a musical place most modern bands can only dream of. Building off the success of their critically acclaimed 2011 album – Is That You In The Blue? – they are back with Image 13 another batch of songs that are next to impossible to stop listening to.
Refusing to stray from his trusted musical formula, Dex once again breaks out his trusty Silvertone manipulating it in ways most of us could only imagine. This is quite evident as the opening track; “Roll On” smacks you in the face with pounding drums, chunky guitars and Dex’s growl. As tasty as this track is the there is more to the Duo than loud chugging music. They mellow things out a bit with the haunting “Baby I Know What it’s Like To Be Alone”, tackle 60’s rock with “So Sad about Us”, offer up a bit of twang on “Beyond The Moonlight” and harnesses a bit of Elvis on “I Don’t Want To Listen”. In addition to their musical prowess and abilities to create such big sound with so little the lyrical quality gets pushed to the side. Listen to the words on “One Sided Love Affair” as he croons about tiring of a forlorn relationship. Dex’s words carry the soulful “We’ll Be Together Again” painting a picture about true love. Depending on how you listen to it this is either about a man’s doing the right things to regain his true love or preparing to abduct her. Scattered throughout the record are some instrumentals which are brilliant as the pair get to show off what they do best. Again these show the multiple sides of the Dex Romweber Duo. A blistering guitar attack, “Blue Surf” pays homage to the classic surf guitar genre, “Prelude In G Minor” is a sonic rollercoaster and the exotic “Weird (Aurora Borealis)" has a Martin Denny feel to it. With such a musical smorgasbord taking place on Image 13 one song stands out and garners the bulk of my attention with each listen. The track “Long Battle Coming” packs all the fuzzy guitars, soulful melodies and earth rattling drums that one person should be allowed to enjoy.
Image 13 is nothing new from the Dex Romweber Duo, it is the same brand of music Dex has been unleashing on the world since he began his musical journey, but damn is it good. It is like a good home cooked meal from you grandma, you know what she is going to fix because you have eaten there before, but with each bite it just tastes better every time. This record should be a part of every music lover’s daily listening regiment.