Rev. Horton Heat is famous for bringing evangelical fervor and rockabilly flare to tales of sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, and other good stuff. So it's fair to expect the band's Christmas album to include at least a little decadence. But oddly enough, the reverence of We Three Kings' title carries over into the album, a surprisingly straightforward rockabilly carol exercise. Sure, the album contains plenty of the expected attitude. The good reverend, a.k.a. Jim Heath, brings an Elvis swagger (and, admittedly, markedly diminished vocal chops) to "Santa Bring My Baby Back," and it's nice to hear "Jingle Bells" getting the slapback bass and reverb twang it's always needed. Yet apart from a shout-out to Batman on "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," the album is short on real surprises. Imagine Rev. Horton Heat playing "What Child Is This"; the end result sounds pretty much the same. Still, it beats yet another Brian Setzer Orchestra exercise in retro-hipster forced holiday hot-rod merriment any day.

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