Release Date: Feb 10, 2009
Record label: Bloodshot
Anyone familiar with the Flat Duo Jets will tell you that Dexter Romweber is a helluva guitarist (Jack White is a proud fan club member), yet our boy Dex has always been lacking in the vocal department. So his delivery on Ruins Of Berlin sometimes sounds more like a Buster Poindexter impression of Conway Twitty. [rssbreak] Seeking the professional help of celebrity stylists might seem like a wise move, only Cat Power, Exene Cervenka and Neko Case, who all have highly recognizable voices, aren't really the best choices.
As one half of the greatest rock alchemists of the past 30 years, thanks to his work with the Flat Duo Jets, Dexter Romweber has earned the right to do whatever the hell he wants. These days, that means teaming up with his drummer sister Sara (formerly of Snatches of Pink), calling up a few vocal ringers, and seeing what happens when he tosses a new influence—German cabaret, of all things!—into his heady stew of rockabilly, jazz, country, and surf. Ruins of Berlin might not play at the Cabaret Voltaire, but damned if Romweber doesn’t have some fun following this new muse.
Late last year, Bloodshot Records brought together stars Neko Case, Cat Power and Exene from X for a series of duets with a rockabilly guitarist from the Carolina Piedmont region. Backing musicians included members of the proto-indie-pop Let’s Active. The record, Ruins of Berlin, has original compositions, but about half the tracks are obscure covers, like the do-wop "Love Letters,” last heard on the Blue Velvet soundtrack.