ALBUM REVIEW: ‘Rev’ it up with the Reverend

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First Posted: 1/27/2014

Who opens an album with a three-minute-and-twenty-four-second instrumental introduction to their second song? Reverend Horton Heat does, that’s who. “Rev” is Reverend Horton Heat’s 11th studio release, and that opening instrumental, “Victory Lap,” which leads into “Smell of Gasoline,” sets the tone for the entire album: unadulterated fuel-injected psychobilly.

The album is powered by The Reverend Jim Heath’s driving guitar, Jimbo Wallace’s hypnotic slap bass, and the tireless drums of Scott Churilla. Just like previous Reverend Horton Heat offerings, ‘Rev’ teeters on the edge of psychobilly and tried and true rock ‘n’ roll. It is hard to ignore the influences of Buddy Holly and the forerunners of the genre. “My Hat” has a guitar solo that is reminiscent of Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock.” Similarly, “Longest Gonest Man” boasts a Johnny Cash quality in it while still keeping the speedy tempo the band is known for. “Zombie Dumb” even pays homage to the surf rock genre that is almost a lost art form in this day and age.

Conversely, you have the first single off the album, “Let Me Teach You How to Eat.” It is a double entendre-filled psychobilly classic in the waiting. The music video for it is filled with burlesque girls and Heath’s knowing, wry smile. One listen and you will be hard-pressed to stop singing it to yourself. Then again, that seems to be the case with just about every track from this album.

“Rev” is a fast-paced album energized by the band itself. They love what they do, and it shows in the end result. It is everything fans of the genre will love: fast music, singing-guitar solos, cars, women, and tongue-in-cheek humor.

Reverend Horton Heat ‘Rev’ Rating: W W W W W