Lost Bentley and hired Scott Churilla, Heat released
It's Martini Time (Interscope, 1996), which is certainly not his most
It's Martini Time and Crooked Cigarette are terrific rave-ups,
but a little predictable in the scope of his work.
Big Red Rocket Of Love and Generation Why lean towards punk-rock
with more exciting results.
The album has polished production and an aura of professionalism that contrast
with everything the Reverend stood for.
The even slicker Space Heater (Interscope, 1998) confirms the suspicion
that the Reverend is ageing. Except for the
instrumental The Prophet Stomp,
the caustic wit of Couch Surfin,
the cowpunk rap of Revolution Under Foot,
and the Duane Eddy-ish Pride Of San Jacinto,
Heat's bar-band is content with recycling stereotypes of bar-bands.
Nods to lounge music and to heavy metal do not bode well.
After so much restraint,
Spend A Night In The Box (Time Bomb, 2000) comes as a mouthful of
The Reverend spits out the usual dose of witty barrelhouse (Spend A Night In The Box, Sleeper Coach Driver, Sue Jack Daniels) plus one of his best ballads (The Girl In Blue) and a demented instrumental boogie (The Millionaire). The Reverend is almost invincible when he plunges into the bare-bottom rock and roll of Big D Boogie Woogie and I'll Make Love.
These days Heath owes quite a bit to bassist Jimbo Wallace and drummer Scott
Churilla, a divine rhythm section.
King, instead, belongs to Martini Time's loungecore.
A couple of slow numbers almost ruin the party, but overall
Lucky 7 (Artemis, 2002) is the same old rockabilly mess
(Loco Gringos Like A Party, Like A Rocket).
Revival (Yep Roc, 2004) is one of his least inspired works,
despite being his most personal and his gravest.
There are, fundamentally, no party songs, which is what made his
albums so appealing. If he decided to change target, he may have
overestimated his talent. It's the old paradox: the rocker lost his soul
when he finally got one. Or, if you prefer:
some people lose their friends when they sober up.
We Three Kings (2005) is a Christmas album.
Hi Fi Stereo (2008), credited to Reverend Organdrum, is a collection
of instrumental covers performed by an organ-driven trios.
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