Picks and Pans Review: Space Heater
The perfect life-is-a-kegger anthem—"Beer Ain't Drinkin' "—was written a few years ago by irony-loving punk rocker Mojo Nixon. Now comes the rockin' Rev. Horton Heat with a slacker shout-along of his own, "Couch Surfin'." The Rev. (né Jim Heath, a former sound technician with a mail-order cleric's title who restores vintage cars when he's not lolling on his sofa in Dallas) is also a 37-year-old surf-guitar wiz who dresses like a '50s rockabilly cat and whose trio has built an enthusiastic cult following with four previous rootsy, twang-filled albums. Typical of their work is "Couch Surfin'," in which Heat yowls over a raving rhythm lifted in part from the Batman TV theme: "I'll mow your lawn if you've got a riding lawn mower/ I'm gonna grab me another beer, okay?/ Thanks a lot man/ I'll pay you back as soon as I get a job." The Rev. claims in a press release that he wrote and recorded the album's 16 tracks in 16 days, and some sound like it. But for the most part, Space Heater is a frat party album that, as the Rev. puts it in song, "goes real fast, but it sure feels good."
Bottom Line: Slacker's delight