1993, Music

The Full-Custom Gospel Sounds of The Reverend Horton Heat (1993)

I understand the appeal of this music: it’s loud, raucous, fun, manic, and it’s well-played. The Full-Custom Gospel Sounds (no gospel included…) manages to bridge the past and future together, like other psychobilly, combining punk with more traditional rock and roll. There’s definitely more of an alternative rock vibe here than the punk vibe with ’80s psychobilly but, if anything, that makes it more attractive, as it feels a little more unique than the bands that adhere strictly to the genre’s original sound.

But the problem for me is that it’s still a psychobilly record recorded in 1993, over a decade since the genre’s beginnings. Yes, it is arguably better played than much (if not most) psychobilly. And Heat has a different persona than those based on the the “I like Horror Films!” lyrics that get old fast with this genre – just because The Cramps wrote about zombies, does not mean that everyone else has to. But there is not enough here for me of interest musically.

The one time the band does try to do something different is the final track, which is like so many final tracks on so many ’90s albums, using tapes to create a sound collage. It’s not very original and there’s no reason to listen to it. It’s not fun like the rest of the album.

That’s all this is really, fun. And that’s good! But it’s not good enough for me to get excited about this record.


All songs by Jim Heath, except “Nurture My Pig” by Locos Gringos.

  1. “Wiggle Stick” – 3:00
  2. “400 Bucks” – 3:09
  3. “The Devil’s Chasing Me” – 5:31
  4. “Livin’ on the Edge (Of Houston)” – 2:52
  5. “You Can’t Get Away from Me” – 2:26
  6. “Beer:30” – 3:00
  7. “Big Little Baby” – 2:31
  8. “Lonesome Train Whistle” – 3:22
  9. “Bales of Cocaine” – 2:11
  10. “Loaded Gun” – 4:18
  11. “Nurture My Pig” – 4:00
  12. “Gin and Tonic Blues” – 3:39
  • Jim “Reverend Horton” Heath – vocals, guitar
  • Jimbo Wallace – upright bass
  • Taz Bentley – drums
  • Gibby Haynes – producer
  • Erik Flettrich – engineer

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