Kim Lenz & The Jaguars
Four years after her last LP, this fiery-haired former Dallasite returns with a snap, crackle, and romp that breathes new life into the familiar tropes of roots revivalism. Fronting cover art that doesn’t recall a Fifties pulp novel, Follow Me expands on Lenz’s previous work with a mix of maturity, depth, and zing, beginning with the fact that her vocals never sounded better. Between sultry, playful phrasing on the faux-Arabian-flavored title track and a barely hinged growl in the chorus of “Cry Wolf,” she displays exceptional stylistic confidence and control. Her well-oiled band’s scramble of rockabilly and jump blues gains even more traction by employing elements of classic transistor pop songcraft. Dramatic torch song “Deejay” evokes the rabble-rousing pathos of a well-curated John Waters soundtrack, while coup de grace “Trust No One” swings the crazy game of love right into oncoming traffic. So much for the ephemera of easy nostalgia.