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Reverend Horton Heat


Victory Records

On this his 11th studio album, The Reverend Horton Heat further cements his position in the rockabilly/neo-rockabilly/psychobilly pantheon. The situation or small problem faced with this album is the fact that Heat's style, energy, and lyrical humor are uniquely his own. Nobody plays like this cat. But the challenge here is to keep it fresh. On "Rev," Heat and his band do just that while still indirectly drawing upon themselves as an influence.

Where anyone immersed in the style will hear riffs quoted from legends like Link Wray and Bill Haley, those snippets bounce around the ether with runs and fills and gloriously disjointed riffs that are the Reverend's trademark. The songs on "Rev" — all 13 of 'em — aren't quite as anthemic as some of Heat's earlier efforts ("Bad Reputation" still makes me nuts). But the dexterity and locomotive speed on this effort make it a great record to introduce a new fan to Reverend Horton Heat's output, just as much as it goes well in the collection of those who have knelt in his church for years. Play it loud. Amen.

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