Flat Duo Jets

Dexter Romweber is god. Dexter Romweber bestrides this world like a colossus. Dexter Romweber is the Voodoo Child. Lucky Eye is as good as any record made this year. Produced by Scott Litt (REM) and Chris Stamey (the dB’s), recorded at the famed Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama, and featuring horns courtesy of the Squirrel Nut Zippers along with keyboards and a string section, this is the best Flat Duo Jets record yet.

Hardcore Jets fans might squawk at the strings, and the poppy bounce of some of the songs, but this record isn’t a radical departure from the classic trash and twang that we’ve loved since Go Go Harlem Baby over a decade ago. The familiar themes are here — love, loss, space visitors, and demented surf music — they just sound bigger, fuller… more ferocious. Dexter still does that chewing broken glass growl that makes your throat hurt to hear, thank god. Then they turn around and stomp into a song like “Hustle + Bustle,” with horns coasting atop a swaying, pounding wall of guitars, and you can’t help but dance.

The production from Litt and Stamey showcases Dexter’s quite brilliant guitar, Crow’s stone-cold in-the-pocket drumming and supplements it with lush, weeping strings or driving horns. The result is a powerful record that is so varied, so seamlessly crafted that each listen uncovers a new favorite. The cut “Boogie Boogie” stomps the pseudo hipsters of the current swing movement flat with its bumpin’, throbbing rockabilly/blues beat that brings to mind a John Lee Hooker groove. Put this song in heavy rotation somewhere and we’d be having mass hysteria in the streets. Then Dexter brings us down to earth with “Love is All Around” — a grinding, pulsing echo-washed tune that really makes you feel that love is an infectious disease, with Dexter’s growling vocals and a sneaky creepy organ laying a dark night mood.

So many times an indie band gets signed to a major (Outpost is a Geffen company) and the music goes lame and the band sells out. On Lucky Eye, Dexter and Crow ain’t sellin’ out. They’re too busy being Voodoo Children — knockin’ down mountains with a wave of their hands.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band

    So It Is (Legacy). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017
    From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017

    For the twelfth year, the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles showcased an impressive lineup of new features and shorts. Lily and Generoso Fierro provide a festival wrap up and their picks for the films that you cannot miss.

  • Justin Townes Earle
    Justin Townes Earle

    Kids In The Street (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

    There’s more than black music influencing the evolution of Rock and Roll. Native American rhymes and ideas are every bit as significant, once you know to look for them.

  • Keith Morris
    Keith Morris

    Ink 19 slings a few questions to the punk rock pioneer Keith Morris on Trump, Calexit and looking back.

From the Archives