What’s going on upstairs, buddy?
I’ve tried to understand the fascination with Roky Erickson ever since his first comeback in the late 1970s, but maybe I just don’t get it. Clearly mental illness and reclusiveness have added to this psychedelic pioneer’s mystique. And what the hell: He’s got plenty of material to cover (even when he only speaks with his demons).
The backing band, alternative outfit Okkervil River of Austin, Texas, weaves its way through a dozen Erickson songs, while the gravelly voiced 13th Floor Elevators frontman takes full advantage of his painfully unique vocal talents, narrating a lifetime of music.
Much of True Love Cast Out All Evil sounds remotely familiar if you’ve heard Erickson before, but always there’s a phrase or image that seems so far off kilter, you have to wonder what’s going on inside this guy’s head.