By Brian Tucker
Dex and his sister Sara were in town a few months back performing at Ziggy’s, launching a tour behind their latest album Images 13. They return Thursday evening to perform at the Tiki Bar on Carolina Beach from 7–9 p.m.
The band just released a new music video for “Roll On,” the opening track on Images 13 out on Bloodshot Records. Recorded at Southern Culture on the Skids’ Rick Miller’s Kudzu Ranch Studio, the new album is a blast, with music that takes a walk down dark back roads, wears a heart on the sleeve, and even leaps into the unexplored.
The album is varied with songs ranging from instrumentals to a mix of ballads that are stark, bittersweet and often boast surreal qualities. Beginning with the slow burn of “Roll On” things take off with the airy, melody-rich cover of The Who’s “So Sad About Us” where Romweber shares vocals with Southern Culture’s Mary Huff.
The album takes different turns, whether it’s the blast of jungle drumming on “Blue Surf,” the guttural howl on “Long Battle Coming,” or the Carl Perkins with a witchy feel of “Beyond the Moonlight.” But it’s “I Don’t Want to Listen” that lends the album its gravity. Both sad and grand respectively, it’s a ballad Romweber has performed over the years and one he added back to his setlist when Sara started to play with Romweber.
Perhaps the most fun on Images 13 is “Weird (Aurora Borealis),” an instrumental that drew inspiration from Harry Lubin and an old show called One Step Beyond he composed music for. Spooky and otherworldly, the rippling guitar work brings to mind Ed Wood and old 50s B-movies alike. It’s a fantastic closer to the album and leaves you with a wandering, mysterious feeling.
Images 13, Romweber’s third recording with Rick Miller is his best yet. Hopefully it won’t be his last.