Music » Critics' Picks

Reverend Horton Heat

Saturday, May 8; the Pageant


You might think you're old-school. Maybe you're wearing dookie gold chains. Maybe you've got an ironic Flock-of-Seagulls haircut or an even more ironic mustache. But you aren't old-school.

Reverend Horton Heat is old-school. His greaser hair and sock-hop-band finery place him firmly in the '50s, as do the rockabilly roots of his music. But there's also a bit of '60s surf to his blazing guitar sound, and some of his rave-ups have a healthy dose of fuzzy '70s-era Ramones punk. He first took to the stage as the good Reverend in the mid-'80s but really gained prominence with his early-'90s Sub Pop recordings. So no matter what decade of retro-rock you're digging this week, Heat is for you. His work ethic is from the real showbiz old school, the one that believes entertainers should get on the road and stay on the road, and his band plays about 150 gigs a year, every year. In fact, you may already be saying to yourself, "Reverend Horton Heat again?"

You bet. Heat, along with the frantic standup bass of Jimbo and drummer Scott Churilla, is still grinding out the best roadhouse rock you'll ever hear at the Pageant, with older songs such as "Wiggle Stick," "Psychobilly Freakout," "Nurture My Pig" and "I Can't Surf" next to tunes from his forthcoming eighth album, with which he'll no doubt seal a claim to '00s rock as well.

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