Baptism by Martini

The big, bad king of psychobilly is back with a new album and a new

favorite drink, and as one may expect, the quality of this recording is

like an alcohol metaphor. The Reverend's aged, he's smooth as scotch,

burns like Baccardi 151 and still has all of the kick of Jack Daniel's.

But the Reverend has become a little refined. He may be hanging out in

Vegas lounges sipping martini's and listening to swing and big bands, but

the bottom line is that he hasn't lost any of his own fire. He still has

the same sideburns and same attitude, just a different drummer.

The Reverend makes audio recordings of his evening sermons for the truly

devout and those not fortunate enough to witness his miracles in person,

but let it be known that his powers are strongest in a live environment,

where his mere presence invokes revelations and miracles in the faithful.

That being said, let's get on with it.

The Reverend's songs are usually about women, booze or cars, and this

album is no exception. The fiery opener, "Big Bad Rocket of Love"

(obviously about a fast car) immediately reaffirms one's belief in the

gospel of the good Reverend Heath, as they tear through three minutes of

screaming and searing guitar.

While the title track "Martini Time," is actually one of the weaker songs

on the album, the real gems are still there, like the instrumental "Time

to Pray," a righteous and fast paced song hilighting the Reverend's surf

and rockabilly influences. "Now, Right Now," has the same rhythm as the

words do, and is about as repetitive as a song can get, but will probably

still get those mean, slicked back rockabilly guys throwing punches in the

pit.

On "Or Is It Just Me?," the Reverend admits that he, too, is human and has

sinned in the past. Tales of lust and betrayal haunted him before he saw

the light and began to spread the Good Word.

It is hard to overlook the growing selection of slow songs in the

Reverend's repertoire, and some older fans may be inclined to shy away

from this album until they hear that one of the songs is a Stray Cats

cover, "Rock This Joint". One lounge song that is good is the closing

track, "That's Showbiz," a swinging little number with an interesting

personal sermon narrated by none other than the Reverend. The good

Reverend shall give and the good Reverend shall take away. His sermon may

change from time to time, but he never strays from his crooked life and

wicked ways.

While this album may not tread any new ground for the Reverend, any

followers who are doubting their faith should enliven themselves at one of

His live appearances and you will be born again.