If Dexter Romweber’s music was ever about exorcism, this is proof it still is. Ten Bad Studs–the latest offering from our hero, justifiably recognized as an architect of backwoods garage rhythm ‘n’ blues–serves five live recordings from Romweber recorded between Chapel Hill and Chattanooga, offering a glimpse into the soul of a man who dances, sings and strums like a banshee in spite of, or, more exactly, because of it. For “Dreams Don’t Cost a Thing,” the former Flat Duo Jets frontman moans in a weary baritone: “When you smile, my heart goes wild, and I want you all the while/ You’re not free, We’ll never be/ But a dream, that don’t cost a thing.” See, Dex admits the demon, and–a spin later–he tries to drive it down, turning “Curse of the Little Bastard” through an instrumental, honky-tonk ring of hell-raising fire, land-locking surf sounds to a bed of blistering, set-me-free blues. That central tenet–demons, damsels and doubts expunged through twisted introspection launched out of vintage amps–is certainly something that Dex’s disciples have picked up on. For instance, Throw Rag–the L.A. quartet that takes the second bevy of this vinyl-only split–sounds irrevocably locked between transcendence and damnation, eating up all-night Baywatch reruns on “Desert Shores” just after moaning their own haunting funeral marches in “Wilmington Nights.” “Halfway to Heaven,” the disc’s closer, is a repentant doomsday affair, as Captain Sean Doe admits that he hopes his children don’t follow his footsteps, that “Heaven is no place for a man like me.” Vintage misery, two generations at a time.