The Reverend Horton Heat
Lucky 7 (Artemis)
by Jon Sarre
Ya gotta figure there’s not a whole lot ya can do if yer The Reverend Horton Heat. The kids want ya to live up to the reputation ya staked for yerself with yer Gretsch and yer rhythm section. What are ya gonna do? Follow the same trail ya blazed back in 1991 with Smoke ‘Em If Ya Got ‘Em and 1992’s full-tilt winner, Full Custom Gospel Sounds Of, to wit, Link Wray with a realization of The Cramps’ realization of ’60s punk and a modicum of pop-cultural awareness, plus a nice dollup of a freakin’ sense of humor lost on most of the other rockabilly revivalists out there.
Yeah, the old Rev. hasn’t changed much since I mostly stopped paying attention to him back after Liquor in the Front, Poker in the Rear, but that was fun enough, ya know? On this new one, ya got the self-explanatory punkabilly killers (“Loco Gringos Like to Party,” “Like a Rocket” – with double-entendres reduced enough for it to be the theme song for the Daytona 500 – I’m sure I’ll catch it on NASCAR, “Reverend Horton Heat’s Big Blue Car,” “Suicide Doors”), ya got the ubiquitous break-up goof-off weepers (“Galaxy 500,” sorta like “Liquor, Beer and Wine” offa Liquor in the Front, “What’s Reminding Me of You” and “Go With Your Friends”). There’s a couplea instrutexmexonspeed instrumentals – “Duel at the Two O’Clock Bell” and “Show Pony,” and the assorted oddballs thrown in, like the sortacountrysorta ballad, “The Tiny Voice of Reason,” which isn’t about yer thought process in conflict with yer penis, the regret-laden kicker, “Ain’t Gonna Happen,” the barroom punchdrunk hiccupabilly stomper “Remember Me,” the dumb-ass “Sermon on the Jimbo” (which oddly enough, has a snatch of somethin’ offa Tommy thrown in) and the equally dumb-ass “You’ve Got a Friend in Jimbo.” Sure, you could say these sermons are recycled, but like any good preacher, the right Reverend twists ’em up and gets ya into the pews just the same, and that’s gonna haveta do until the long-awaited third Book of the Bible hits the shelves at Barnes & Noble.
(130 Fifth Ave. New York, NY 10011)