Romeo Hood

Tyler Keith

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Romeo Hood Review

by Stanton Swihart

After a couple pelvis-swiveling, beer-guzzling, cover-the-kiddies'-ears sort of albums, Tyler Keith broke lose from the sinful splendor of trash rockers the Neckbones to head out on his own. He didn't, however, relinquish either the trash or the rock glories of his former combo on this solo debut, on which he's backed by the seriously explosive and unhinged Preacher's Kids. Instead, he accentuates those attributes even more, and with sensational results. The Preacher's Kids are, in fact, acclaimed roots band Blue Mountain, but their roots on this occasion only go as far back as debauched '50s rock & roll and crazy-eyed early garage rock. The band unloads a propulsive ruckus, flashing back to an era when greasers, punks, hoodlums, and juvenile delinquents turned three sleazeball chords into the best sort of propaganda. The music is everything that it should be: snotty, dangerous, raucous, full of screw-you 'tude, and not a little bit tongue-in-cheek fun as well. Keith comes off as equal parts Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam the Sham, David Johansen, and Lux Interior, but with a major Big Bopper complex and a pinch of the devil's most playful side thrown in. There are nods to everything from Bo Diddley and the early Rolling Stones to electrified blues and surf rock. Surprisingly enough, he also tries his hand at a couple of tender Bob Dylan-like chronicles ("Youth Is Wasted on the Young" and the countrified "Lost on a Lonesome Road") that slow the proceedings down briefly. Otherwise, the album goes full-bore without any juice in the breaks. You know you're heading for a one-car collision, but the ride is so titillating it doesn't matter. Jailbait beware. If you're given to wearing poodle skirts, angora sweaters, or chantilly lace and have a pretty face, you might want to steer clear of Romeo Hood. Otherwise it could have a corrupting influence. The rest of you, by all means, dive in.

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