Record Review 

For nearly 15 years, Reverend Horton Heat (aka Jim Heath) and his trio have been preaching the gospel of hot cars, hotter women and fiery liquor, all played to the psychobilly hilt. But at this point, the group has exhausted the rather limited genre's potential, spitting out more of the same in various permutations. The sound provides a vigorous, sweaty workout, but it isn't building new muscles.

On their eighth album for their fifth label, Heat and the gang burn rubber throughout the usual twang-on-steroids fare of "Callin' in Twisted," "If It Ain't Got Rhythm" and "Revival," all tunes that could have been recorded for any of the band's previous discs. Yet the chorus of the latter -- "I'm looking for revival, that's all that I can do" -- speaks to a search for something deeper.

Heat also waxes philosophical about the loss of close acquaintances to heroin on "Indigo Friends," a throbbing, explosive rocker that shows he can sometimes write more meaningful fare even within his own musical limitations.

Those who have seen the Rev. tear it up live understand his love for roots country. On the album, he indulges that passion with slow, reflective and downright sensitive ballads such as "Someone in Heaven," "We Belong Forever" and the '50s slow dance of "Lonesome Man." These pit stops off Heat's usual hot-rod track show that he has the ability to travel down some challenging new roads.

Reverend Horton Heat plays the Cotton Club Sat., Sept. 4, 9 p.m. $14.99.


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