CMJ Music Marathon 2008 Day 2: The Dexter Romweber Duo

[23 October 2008]

By Vijith Assar

Romweber’s approximately rockabilly set alternated through solo drunken-songwriter segments—nonchalantly strummed on a retro black guitar, quite possibly modeled after one of Dali’s melting clocks—and duo performances with a drummer. Unaccompanied, he had a vaguely Elvisian swagger which was tolerable, if a little long winded—and in any case, that’s arguably a necessary evil; how else does one learn how to write good roots-rock tunes? This may seem unlikely being that he’s the titular figurehead, but things only took off once his slight elder sister Sara took to the skins. Romweber likes real distortion, the kind that comes from a complaining amp instead of a piddling little orange pedal, but even that can be trumped by the chaotic glitter of manic cymbals reflecting every which way. It’s like Meg White syndrome, but more competent. Is that an oxymoron?

Published at: