By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
The result is a lean and mean album, this dense piece of work that sounds like the world's toughest bar band playing covered in mud; it's thick, ugly, frenzied, dark, sandwiched by a song called "Hearty Beef Party" and a dead-on cover of ZZ Top's "Heard it on the X." If it bears any resemblance to the Rev's sonic boom, it can be found in Moffitt's frantic guitar and Bentley's high-speed percussion; but it's less a continuation of the Reverend Horton Heat sound than an evolution toward something different, darker, deeper.
In addition to writing the bulk of the songs for Bullseye and co-producing the disc with Locke, Bentley's also taken a hand in the band's business dealings. Through his old connections with Sub Pop Records, which released the first two Reverend Horton Heat albums, he struck a deal through which the label released a Tenderloin seven-inch single ("Supernatural Bologna"); Tenderloin will also tour this fall with Sub Pop's Supersuckers, with both bands coming through town October 30 at the Orbit Room.
And Locke says Bentley also landed Tenderloin a spot on the forthcoming Willie Nelson tribute album (Twisted Willie) due shortly from the Houston-based Justice Records--which will feature contributions from L7, Soundgarden, former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, and (you guessed it) Reverend Horton Heat.
For someone who was going to stay out of the music business for a while, Bentley has been quite busy: Aside from Tenderloin, in August he was invited by Izzy Stradlin to drum on the former Guns N' Roses' guitarist's upcoming album, and he has also cut some tracks with Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron for a potential future project.
It seems at once ironic and appropriate that Bentley and Moffitt should join a band once closely linked with Reverend Horton Heat. Tenderloin opened so often for the Rev that both bands became good friends and drinking partners; Locke, in fact, is to blame for sending Jim Heath home early during a Rev set one night at Club Dada early in 1994, giving Heath several bourbons too many.
But those days are over for now: Locke and Bentley don't foresee opening for the Rev any time soon, though they don't rule out the possibility once a little more time passes.
"You know, I have to answer questions damn near every show," Bentley says of fans who still can't understand why he quit such a good gig. "They're like, 'Why did you do this? How could you?' And it's hard to go over it every night. Most of them I try to slip away from, to be honest. Half of me says it's none of their business, and half of it's hard to explain. You had to be there, and you have to know me and Jim and Jimbo. We're all still really close. There's no love lost. It's just a movin'-on thing, that's all.