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Tyler Keith | Preachers Kids | Romeo Hood | review | rock | Lollipop

Tyler Keith And The Preacher's Kids

Romeo Hood (Black Dog)
by Jon Sarre

Check out this erstwhile Neckbone with a throat like Arnold Horseshack but with attitude'n'shot telling you off with Tommy James riffage meets "Summertime Blues"'n'handclaps on "Nobody's Fool," the opening track on Tyler Keith's new record and ya gotta wonder what he really has to be so pissed off about. Then he goes into the (I suppose) Fat Possum (his old label) kiss-off "White Boy Blues Blues" with jumpintoit harp'n'guitar and ya realize he's fuckin' sick of bein' ignored cuz he's white and yer not, tho' there's lotsa white people out there so he lays into the salsa tempoed "Uptight," which has lines about clenched jaws so I think it's about white lines, which of course refer to cocaine, so mebbe he's just strung out, which'd make anyone really irritated, me included. It sucks especially bad not to be able to sleep, especially on yer porch at five a.m. an' smokin' pot so you can come down and the nubile young thing next to ya wants to... uh... so where was I?

Oh yeah, Tyler calls himself a "Romeo Hood," but nobody knows he is, but he's still no good. More handclaps like the Bay City Rollers, 'cept no spelling, cuz Tyler doesn't wanna teach ya to spell. Tyler's here to rock ya. He's still pissed off tho', cuz yer not rockin' enough, so wawa dies out and he's gonna fuck you up with some crazy rave-up where he tells ya what he's thru with (everything), but then there's "Nature of the Beast," and it's got these key changes (and more handclaps) which are crazzeee, crazzeee. Fast, faster, faster, not so fast, faster, stop. Then he throws this change-up semi-acoustic number about how "Youth is Wasted on the Young" and how kicks are gettin' harder to find altho' in his old band all they wanted to do was get their kicks, but now he's old or sumptin', so he just wants to do sumptin' good for a change and his dreams are unclear and mebbe he just shoulda waited to have kicks, but it's too late he's not a teenager no more.

He doesn't stay weepy, which is good, then he switches off to Exile on Main Street raunch'n'roll chock fulla sleezy Berry riffage and "pickitups" like he's so nuts he thinks he's in a ska band. Mebbe he just thought the last number was too slow for him, so he moves the band like "Rip This Joint" comin' offa "Rocks Off" like it was "Sweet Virginia." He gets Blue Mountain, his backing band of the moment, moving tout sweet. This Tyler, he's a harsh taskmaster, so mebbe that's why he's a solo artist these days. He gets the BM kids into a nice workout pattern groove before he flies into the rockabilly field holler "Straw Boss," which is the Minutemen's "Mr. Robot's Holy Orders" work complaint or possibly NWA's "Express Yourself" sharecropper complaint video backtracked onto real sharecropper complaintant Charlie Patton's Delta blues but with Keif Richards along to supply backing slide guitar conversationalist complaints.

"Lost on a Lonesome Road" is a beerknuckledraggin' weeper with "Amazing Grace" references, 'cept no one's blind and no one can see, Tyler's just stuck out on the hiway without gas or whiskey or sumptin and sleepin' in ditches wit' girls. Never happens to me, but "Livin' the High Life (With My Low Life Friends)" is the usual bruised purple haze onetoomanymornings schtick ya can imagine if ya've ever lived that way (just much faster than it always seems to me). "Rumble in the Jungle" is olde tyme fightin' party music where punk hayseeds go mano a mano with regular hayseeds and minor chord breaks hint that the regulars win every time, but Tyler comes back like he's Mickey Rourke playin' Henry Chinanski fightin' Sly Stallone's little brother in Barfly. "Chantilly Rock" is Jeff Evans forgot the lyrics to one Jerry Lee Lewis remembered with dancin' on Beale Streeet and glancin' with slow eyes, glancin' babee with slow eyes, shakkkkin' it ohhhaaaaa (tho' without the "I'm a jockeyonabigredhorse" which is in both the '68 Comback cover and the Killer killer kover, as for the orig, ya'd haveta ask Jerry Lee, cuz he probably heard it as a kid back before Noah's flood, dig? Anyway Monsieur Jeff can definitely remember more lyrics than Tyler Keith). Then, finally, we come to "Angora," an Ed Wood fan's paean to fluffy sweater fetish girls, proving that Keith is stuck in some other dimension, but his direction is purely for yer lobes, providin' ya got either the sweater or the balls for it.
(Rt 1 Box 163-A Monticello, MS 39654)

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