For a certain breed of American rock'n'roller, there's nothing cooler than the short-order cook from Texas who once saw mighty strange lights in the skies over Dallas ...

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Can-I-Bus

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Can-I-Bus

FOR A CERTAIN BREED OF AMERICAN rock’n’roller, there’s nothing cooler than the short-order cook from Texas who once saw mighty strange lights in the skies over Dallas. Caked in pan-grease and hair-oil, these people dream of careering down the rockabilly road in their souped-up dragsters, sending God-fearing folk scattering like termites and picking up their daughters for a lifetime of debauchery. Sadly, if they keep making records as tame as ‘Space Heater’, the wild griddle dream will become burger-flipping reality.

The Reverend Horton Heat, along with Man Or Astroman? and Rocket From The Crypt, are not so much dashing ’50s speed kings as grunge relics, still stuck in a time where TV evangelism and the bloody Roswell Incident might just pass as nail-bitingly controversial. ‘Pride Of San Jacinto’ (sample lyric: [I]”Hoo! Hah!”[/I]) might have the Link Wray twang mentality down, but much of ‘Space Heater’ is sheet metal – ‘Jimbo’s Song’ is ‘Ace Of Spades’ forced into satin trousers and a foolish quiff, while ‘Goin’ Manic’ is Faith No More on a [I]really [/I]bad hair day. It doesn’t, however, make up for the baccy-dribbling hoe-down of ‘The Prophet Stomp’, nor the Booze Explosion clatter of ‘Baby, I’m Drunk’. It’s evil, but not in the way they crave.

But that’s the way they like it, baby. They don’t want to live forever. Which, given the sales potential of this record, is probably just as well.