Reverend Horton Heat

With everyone supposedly declaring war on Christmas in 2005, what better time for the good Reverend and his merry band to release We Three Kings: Christmas Favorites? In case you were hoping for "White Christmas" crossed with "Bales of Cocaine," forget it. The Rev purposefully eschews sex, drugs and booze for a G-rated Christmas album he wouldn't be embarrassed to play for grandma and the kids, albeit one that rocks harder than any holiday program since The Ventures' Christmas Album. And the Rev has customized the full gospel sounds so that the two songs that would usually mention the baby Jesus are played instrumentally to quell the ire of that nondenominational stickler at the office party. Like the Ventures, the band crossbreeds familiar carols with rockin' hits -- the title track is given the Pyramids' "Penetration" treatment, while "What Child Is This" pans out like Booker T. & the MGs' "Hang 'em High." Otherwise, you've got every Rudolph, Frosty and Santa in creation, with the Rev's own "Santa on the Roof," a sure bet to be included in this show's post-Christmas set.


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