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The Reverend Horton Heat
Spend a Night in the Box
Time Bomb Recordings

Frontman Jim Heath (a.k.a. the Reverend Horton Heat) seems hell-bent on conjuring up the devil with his scorching brand of rockabilly: a raucous, rebellious country stew of Johnny Cash honky-tonk souped up with more than a pinch of swamp, surf and blues. He made a name for himself on the juke-joint circuit for songs about beerin' and boozin' and seems proud there are only six songs about drinking on the band's seventh album. "Sue Jack Daniels" does blaze with the hard-drinkin' style that made the trio a rowdy favorite, but other songs take a different angle, like the kick-in-the-pants "The Girl in Blue" and the racy "Whole Lotta Baby" and "I'll Make Love." "The Bedroom Again" tackles divorce, while "It Hurts Your Daddy Bad" is Heat's take on fashion models who sell their souls for the glamour of the fast lane. Spend a Night in the Box was produced by Butthole Surfers guitarist Paul Leary and recorded at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studios; the title pays tribute to Cool Hand Luke. (Sarah Quelland)

The Bloodhound Gang
Hooray for Boobies
Geffen Record

These twisted weirdos write silly, stupid and irreverent songs with obnoxious lyrics, deviant humor and expert pop-culture references (including Pac Man, Shrinky Dinks, Falco and Pee-wee Herman). The music ranges into punk, pop, metal, New Wave, rap, hip-hop and honky-tonk; the only common thread is a severe punk-rock attitude. The band incorporates clever samples, including a junky Casio beat and a snippet from The Simpsons. The Bloodhound Gang often appropriates famous songs and lyrics for its own use, incorporating Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax" into "Mope" and rewriting lyrics from Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall, Part II" into "Right-Turn Clyde." The band's single, "The Bad Touch," with the lyrics "You and me baby ain't nothin' but mammals/So let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel," is getting play across the country. (SQ)

The Next Best Thing
Maverick Records

Best described as "looking for love in hall of mirrors," Madonna and producer William Orbit's gambit on this soundtrack is to surround real Madonna vocal tracks--"American Pie," "Time Stood Still"--with mimicked ones. At the start, you get princess Christina Aguilera in a warble-strut mode resembling something off Madonna's Like a Prayer album. Right after "Pie" comes Mandalay's sexy-as-hell synth-housescape tune "This Life," with whispers and eroticized huffing all in their proper places. This begs the question: How much could Madonna win in court for self-plagiarism? (Edward Crouse)

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From the March 16-22, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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