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ISSUE 22 | Reviews: Roky Erickson’s True Love Cast Out All Evil by 20watts

Roky Erickson's True Love Cast Out All Evil: ""

Part of our Issue 22 coverage!
WE GIVE IT: 16/20 Watts
PREVIEW: CLICK here to visit Roky Erickson‘s website

Fighting off a career of tragedy and setbacks, Roky Erickson’s legacy is often forgotten amidst the chaos of his life from 1966 to now. He would be revered as a pioneer of garage and psychedelic rock, if it wasn’t for his stays in prison and mental institutions, leading to countless years of inactivity. But now, with the help of fellow Austin musicians Okkervil River, Erickson’s pain—after decades of silence finally sees the light of day.

The sentiment behind True Love Cast Out All Evil is indeed a noble one. The man who once wrote “Don’t Shake Me Lucifer” now comes to terms with those same demons, describing his long road to recovery. And yet, you still can’t help but see that the edge is gone. Yes, Erickson, 62, may be much older than he used to be, but like the recent output from Bob Dylan, 68, and Bruce Springsteen, 60, you can’t deny the absence of the former lyrical wizard. Lucky for Erickson he has Okkervil River supporting him. Where he lacks in subject matter, Okkervil more than compensate with their musical arrangements (see R.E.M. sound-alike “Goodbye Sweet Dreams”).

Erickson makes a statement on True Love Cast Out All Evil. He’s still here, and that’s what counts. Though not a perfect tapestry by any means, the record is the vision of a man definitely worth contemplating.

BY John Cassillo

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