The Reverend Horton Heat (specifically, band leader Jim Heath) is pretty much a brand name with the best of‘em. For over twenty years, the Rev has built quite a church on the strengths of his electrically – charged, vaguely psychotic musical sermons, with admirers in a wide spectrum of music appreciation, from the purists to the curious.
Hi-Fi Stereo, a collection of entirely instrumental covers (save “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head”), falls more on the purist end. Though Reverend Organdrum (I’m betting the moniker brainstorming sessions took three seconds, tops) is quite a pairing, with Asleep At The Wheel’s Tim Alexander providing the organ, there is more miss than hit here.
While expertly played and arranged, this disc leaves nothing to the listener’s imagination. From song selection to production to performance, nothing even remotely transports the listener. The lack of anything compelling tells me this was done in pure fun, and probably knocked off with little engaged energy. “Experiment in Terror” is worthy, with some nice atmospheric touches; “James Bond Theme” and “Theme to Route 66” are underlined with a bit of cool. But sadly, those are the only highlights worth mentioning (or even remembering). In a career that has been nothing but success — artistically, commercially, and critically — this project can only be heard as a disappointment.