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'True Love Cast Out All Evil,' Roky Erickson

Fallen psych-rock legend Roky Erikson is back with one hell of a record.

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It sounds like a match made in indie-nerd heaven: Roky Erickson, minor psychedelic rock legend (of the long-defunct and sadly underappreciated ’60s band, the 13th Floor Elevators), backed by contemporary sad bastards and literary folk rockers Okkervil River. The result is a little too haggard, a little too weary to be considered truly celestial. But that’s a good thing — Erickson’s voice is heavy and rough, with the weight of experience bearing down on it. The production is stark and spectral, allowing Erickson’s plaintive cries to hit hard and clear. And the backing band is still given a chance to shine, blending together orchestral lourishes and bluesy Americana with equal aplomb. This is a comeback collaboration almost on the scale of Rick Rubin and Johnny Cash, a much-deserved revival of Erickson’s career, and one hell of an album.

 

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