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The Reverend Horton Heat Spend A Night In The Box

Reviewed by Ed Parker

During the 1990's the Reverend Horton Heat was the premier indie/punk rockabilly band in the U.S. Through five albums, the Reverend progressed from straight-up rockabilly with a twisted sense of humor on Smoke Em If You Got Em to the heavy alternative rock of Liquor In the Front. Now they've switched record labels from Sub Pop to Time Bomb and have also returned to their more traditional country roots. All of the songs on Spend A Night In the Box sound like they could be straight off of a 50's country album such as Hank Williams.

Fans of the Reverend's last few albums may be disappointed because of a lack of heavy electric guitar parts. This album doesn't even have the lewd phallus-themed songs that have permeated their career. So does that mean that the Reverend has matured? Probably not, but one can not help but notice the lack of immaturity which can be found in many of their earlier albums. The lyrical themes are still similar; many borrowed from classic rockabilly themes such as drinking and jilted lovers. While there is still a few songs where the Reverend sings about sexy women, such as "The Girl In Blue" and "Whole Lotta Baby," he also sings about a woman who is apparently his wife in songs like "Spend A Night in the Box" and "The Bedroom Again."

Still, it is mostly the same Reverend that has been the best rockabilly band for the last few years. The stripped down sound gives the band a chance to show off their considerable talent and even though they may have matured a tiny bit the album is still much more fun and produces a more skilled project than any of the prevalent country stars around today.


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