Friday, August 07, 2009

Dex Romweber Duo - Ruins Of Berlin

If you're an advocate of Jack White and all he holds dear then this becomes a necessary exploration through the avowed influence of this pioneer of stripped back garage-surf-rockabilly-whatsitcore from his twenty years of solo albums and Flat Duo Jets before that. However, should you be generally derisive of the wobbly haired, warbly one then don't despair by that news, as this episode of sultry class should not be similarly dismissed. This debut (with sister Sara of Snatches Of Pink on drums) is a darkly enthralling gospel of salvation, sin and wild at heart woe and wonder. From the ravaged surf opener to the Weimar cha cha of Lover's Gold, the exqusite ramshackle creepy shit-kick love ode Picture Of You and Camelia's Gone (Let It Snow) that would furrow Nick Cave's brow with intense palpiatations - Oh Lover's Gone likewise, though ol' Lenny C woulda beaten him to the ball, all told, it's a roll call of ragged glory, a spine-spangling gallery with fleeting reflections of Link Wray and Roy Orbison through to the air of preternaural realisation of Jeffrey Lee Pierce channelling Sun studio Elvis, Dex's voice is a resonant beast that croons and quivers then roars and tears at words like a, well, like a jack on fire perhaps. With a trio of lovely helpers in the guise of Cat Power (on a slinky squirmy Love Letters), Exene Cervenka and Neko Case (on a lovely lilt-a-whirl Still Around) cropping up on a trio of songs like three furies to calm the dirty water Dex's soul swims and sinks in, this is one cinematically enchanting, rapturously twisted cabaret to write home about. And not just yours. Almost incomprehensibly astounding. A truly authentic railroad to the real.
Stu Gibson

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