Reverend Horton Heat : Revival

He's not a real vicar, but he really does believe in redemption through rock...

Whatever it’s been cross-bred with (the baddest bad-ass rock, in this case), there are essentially two sorts of country music: the sort sad people make to make themselves feel worse, and the sort sad people make to make themselves feel better.

Thankfully, the Reverend Horton Heat is normally of the church that believes every low-down calls for a hoedown. The times when the Rev lets his misery run away with him – such as ‘Someone In Heaven’ (a tribute to his mother) and’Octopus Mode’ – don’t convince. They’re heartfelt but have a heaviness that sits uneasily among the picking and whooping elsewhere – a sound that’s been unchanged across the 20 years of his career, and probably wouldn’t have sounded too far out of place at that much hoop-la’ed moment 50 years ago when a young [a]Elvis Presley[/a] invented

rock’n’roll in an idle moment between sexualising male

hips and ruining Hollywood.

If you like your rock with sawdust on the floor and blood in its mouth, this is as good as it gets.

Simon Hayes Budgen