The Devil's Music? No Way

Revival (Yep Roc)
Reverend Horton Heat

By David Lilly

The wickedly talented Reverend Horton Heat, a band that has faithfully released a new album every couple of years since 1990, has cranked out yet another disc of rockabilly on fire (or psychobilly or punkabilly, depending on your source). If you're fortunate enough to catch this extremely blessed act onstage, as far as this record goes, what you'll get is pretty much what you hear here. In other words, this CD's overdubs and special effects are few (and unnecessary). Plentiful are Scott Churilla's and Jimbo Wallace's powerhouse rhythm section and front man Jim (a.k.a. The Rev) Heath's singing and world-class guitar prowess.

For all the rocking fire and brimstone on this disc, two of the most striking moments are actually quiet. "Someone in Heaven" is a heartfelt, plaintive and pretty country-blues prayer to Heath's mother. The equally pretty and tranquil slow-dancer, "We Belong Forever" is also very easy on the ears and somewhat hypnotic. The rest of the songs, though, are party music extraordinaire. In fact, this album kicks in with the galloping and upbeat, "The Happy Camper," which will not take "no" for an answer. Other highlights include, "Callin' in Twisted," "New York City Girls," "Indigo Friends," "Honky Tonk Girl," and "Lonesome Man." But let's get one thing straight: Great rock 'n' roll is in abundance here; if you find any filler, let me know.

Beyond the 46 minutes of music on the CD, there is also a refrigerator-cool DVD. Containing video footage of three songs performed onstage, it also features an informative documentary including a geographic tour with the low-key and articulate Heath talking about his humble beginnings as a performer. Interesting to say the least, it's too short but much better than nothing, so let's be grateful.

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