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Reverend Horton Heat

Laughin' and Cryin' with the Reverend Horton Heat

Review by Larry Toering

On the latest release from this massive underground delight, we are treated to more classic country than on previous outings. It still stands up to others in the catalog but with much less bite and chaos. But if you play this loud enough I'm sure you too will be "laughin' and cryin' with the Rev…”

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Drinkin' And Smokin' Cigarettes

Until he finds something better than “Lucky Strikes,” a great twanger solo will have to do. The humorous standard is in tact on this fine opener.

Ain't No Saguraro in Texas
Nice little jazz chords and a subtle swing kicks in for a more traditional thing with the usual tried and true approach to the lyrics. Somehow it doesn't go down so funny, but musically pleasant. Once again, there is some decent picking from the Rev.
Death Metal Guys
Crack up with this one, it's a gut buster with yet more accompanying twanger extrordinaire. It just works so well it's hard not to hit repeat. It’s funny to hear his take on the differences between Death Metal and Rockabilly. I don't think they're as different as he makes them out to be but the point is well taken. Singing about weighing the insanity between that of Jerry Lee Lewis and metal music lovers, seems pretty ironic since most punk and metalheads, whether musicians or just fans really do pale in comparison to Jerry Lee on his mildest heyday night. That’s a fact I'm not sure the Reverend realizes.
River Ran Dry
I love the guitar here. The Reverend keeps it together so well you don't even think to care what the song is about. It’s so funny it's hard to take seriously.
Please Don't Take the Baby to the Liquor Store
This is another lyrically funny track with insane bouts of laughter. The title sums it up... "It's not the kind of bottle he's been cryin' for / But give him the Agave worm anyway." You’ve got to love this!
Aw, The Humanity
The title is obviously lifted from the Hindengurg disaster. Humor works on this disc more than anything. More rock and roll action would sure be nice but it doesn't seem to be important when the lyrics are so incredibly hilarious. This is a slower tune with tad bits of nice piano.
Rural Point Of View
The pace picks up here with that oh so satisfying guitar picking, and all one has to do is imagine himself (or herself) within the title and it's hard to resist the outcome. One of the more enjoyable tracks, more country leanings don't seem to bore, here they only complement the lyrics.
Oh God! Doesn't Work In Texas
One of the only hard rocking numbers on the whole thing, this is a very good change-up effort. "Sittin' at the black jack table with my hand on the barrel / put a fork in me I'm done..."  This includes a killer guitar solo! Also featuring a thumping rhythm section, this one is full of rocking musical bombast.
Spacewalk
Things go romantic on us here with lovely bits of guitar. This is just a choice little instrumental gem with great slide work.
Beer Holder
Not boring or anything, this is just not too exciting as things get more country heavy and the lyrics are more geared for the hangover ridden individual. Perhaps it's about someone close to the Rev with its personal feel and all. Or, perhaps it’s about someone's wife? She does get a mention. It features a more romantic style of playing from the Reverend.
Crazy Ex-Boyfriend
With more hilarity of the gut punching variety, this is another smoking hot one for those looking to laugh and jam at the same time. I think most men can relate.
There's A Little Bit of Everything in Texas
This is more traditional country with the Reverend trying to explain a thing or two about his roots. It seems to work as well as anything else on this country heavy release.
Just Let Me Hold My Paycheck
The swing vibe remains intact without getting too dance heavy on this subtler tune with the classic “hand it over” complaint about surrendering the paycheck. This is interesting and funny as usual but lacking a bit in terms of excitement.
Oh By Jingo
Picking almost like chicken, things go slightly Dixie on this instrumental closer, but I'm hoping that isn't a hint at more hard-core style country to come from the Reverend. I would like to see things get back to the thrash heavy rockin' leanings of earlier Heat records. But not all is lost, this still a first rate release, if a bit too on the traditional country side of things.
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