Reverend Horton Heat

Reverend Horton Heat (appearing Friday, July 23, at the Ogden Theatre) was once the James Brown of psycho-billy. But with Revival, his eighth full-length, he's in danger of becoming the genre's George Thorogood. His warmed-over Elvis riffs and sleazy double entendres have never been exactly what you'd call penetrating, but here, his wit is even duller than his licks: Tired lines such as "I'm calling in sick/I'm calling in twisted" are tossed off like fake phone numbers on the back of barroom napkins, and with about as much sincerity. Heat's always been a joker, but the laughs are sounding more and more canned each time around. Granted, the Reverend continues to pack concert halls, and his manic stage presence surely still has the power to electrify an audience -- especially an audience already addled by Budweiser and Dippity-Do. But there's a big difference between belching up brimstone and stoking the briquettes. Revival? At this point in his career, the Reverend needs a full-on resurrection.


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