Slide Machine sez:
I'm mystified. Fifteen years waiting for a new release from Roky Erickson, and now that it's finally happened, the foremost Roky Group in the world makes hardly a peep about it. So I ask respectfully... What gives?
Beelzebub got your tongue? Nobody likes it, so rather than say something unkind, say nothing at all? Broke, and can't buy it?
Just curious is all....
I've read some panning of it elsewhere but I think True Love Casts Out All Evil is a really cool album. I don't mind Roky doesn't have his younger voice, I don't mind the lack of truly new material on it, I get a very "full-circle" feeling when I listen to it. But I didn't allow myself any expectations, so maybe that has to do with it. I still say it's better than All that may do my Rhyme.
It's not quite like anything else he's done. But it's nonetheless a quintessential "Roky Erickson Album," which is not something I would say about his previous offering from 15 years ago "All that may do my Rhyme." I know a lot of folks really like that one, and I don't write it off, but it's not my favorite. True Love Cast Out All Evil seems to have a little bit of everything that has made Roky Roky, plus a little bit more, of something new, that really works. And it sounds really fine production-wise as well. Thanks Roky.
Anybody else even heard it?
Jeff Curtis sez:
Actually, yeah, I think it's amazing-sounding! I was really surprised, truly, by how good it managed to turn out. So many late-career 'comeback' kinds of albums by once-pioneering musicians turn out to be really dull, ho-hum experiences that are barely worthy of a footnote on the original careers of the artists, but I think this is a seriously strong record that stands on its own as great listening. Everyone really did an awesome job on it - really
outstanding, I think!
As I said, I like it. The problem with Roky's solo output is that each Producer has wanted to impart *his* vision of what Roky should sound like. I'm of the impression that Roky's not too involved in the production of his studio albums. Maybe he's a people-pleaser, I don't know. But each Producer has wanted to put *his* stamp on it. The new Roky album suffers from this tendency but I still like it. Look:
My favorite Roky solo album is All That May Do My Rhyme because it suffers THE LEAST from this tendency of all of Roky's solo records.
The best stuff is the 45's and EP's. Check this out! Look:
If only Doug Sahm had made an album with the same band that made the Mars 45! Instead, we got Stu Cook:
Roky Erickson And The Aliens (1980, CBS Records)
The Evil One (1981, 415 Records):
Here we got Lurkin & Billy Alienate without a clue, snorting up Roky's money while they fiddled with the knobs:
Don't Slander Me
All three discs above tried to "modernize" and "clean up" Roky's sound. We all know that Roky's "sound", at that time, was the nasty, low-fi, extreme sound. Don't Slander Me was the worst because of the incompetence.
These records don't count because they are (mostly) live recordings:
Gremlins Have Pictures (1986, Pink Dust Records)
Casting the Runes (1987, Five Hours Back)
Holiday Inn Tapes (1987, Fan Club)
Live at the Ritz 1987 (1988, Fan Club)
Click Your Fingers Applauding The Play (1988, New Rose Records)
Openers (1988, Five Hours Back)
Live Dallas 1979 (1992, Fan Club)
Beauty and the Beast (1993, Sympathy for the Record Industry)
Of the seven albums above Casting the Runes is the best of the lot:
This brings us to All That May Do My Rhyme. This is a great Roky album where the Producer didn't try and fiddle with Roky's sound. It's Roky's most "Texas" sounding album too:
All That May Do My Rhyme (1995, Trance Syndicate):
This album is a poor attempt to cash in:
Roky Erickson and Evilhook Wildlife (1995, Sympathy for the Record Industry)
Demon Angel: A Day and a Night with Roky Erickson (1995, Triple X Records):
After this time the Roky CD Club was created and began to set things right.
Not to fond of this album. It's low-fi bootleg quality:
Never Say Goodbye (1999, Emperor Jones):
Sumner trying his hand at things and it's God-awful:
Don't Knock the Rok! (2004, Norton Records:
Sumner, partnered with Lurkin, trying to cash in while not giving anything new to the fans:
I Have Always Been Here Before (2005, Shout! Factory)
Halloween (2008, Norton Records)