Space Heater

The Reverend Horton Heat

Interscope Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Sean McCarthy


Get the gin out of the freezer. Grab a deck of cards and a cigar. And make sure the tonic isn't flat. The Reverend Horton Heat have a new album.

Their latest, Space Heater is much like their previous albums. Flashy women, songs about couch-hoarding bums and prasises to public drunkedness are all over my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Space Heater. It's probably the most rock-oriented album they've released, but much of their traditional psychobilly sound is there.

Those psychobilly elements have been toned down slightly, however. Jim "Reverend" Horton Heath's guitar playing stretches more notes and allows more dynamics to show. But in "Jimbo Song", their old selves are still there. That song will guarantee a mosh pit frenzy in most venues.

The energy in Space Heater seems more contrived than their previous releases. That may be because their old albums were produced by mavericks. Ministry's Al Jourgenson and the Butthole Surfers Gibby Haynes have sat behind the control booths and unleased the energy the Reverend show in their borderline religous live shows. Space Heater could have used them or even Mojo Nixon as a producer. Unfortunately, they got Ed Stasium to produce it.

Any rumours that Stasium is guilty of over-producing are confirmed on Space Heater. "Baby I'm Drunk" and "Couch Surfin'" have enough humor in them to stand Stasium's polish. "Native Tongue of Love" and "Mi Amor" aren't as lucky.

Given, most of the flaws on Space Heater are non-existant when they are on stage. There, the cheap beer and KFC white trash luster of the Reverend proudly shine.

Sadly though, there's not enough of those moments on Space Heater. It lacks the cohesive feel of It's Martini Time and The Full-Custom Gospel Sounds of The Reverend Horton Heat. Bassist Jim Wallace just seems more unleased on those two efforts.

Is the Reverend mood music? You betcha. Perfect for playing cards or Nintendo 64 wrestling with three other friends to. And Space Heater does the job when it comes to attaining the Reverend sound. But, will you miss it if another Reverend album is in your player? Probably not.


Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 1998 Sean McCarthy and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Interscope Records, and is used for informational purposes only.