Roky Erickson & the Aliens

Roky Erickson & the Aliens

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Like Syd Barrett and Robyn Hitchcock, Roky Erickson is one of rock & roll's genuine crazies, and this album does nothing to dispel that image. As the song titles accurately suggest, the lyrics here all draw their subject matter from satanic and horror-movie subjects. Musically, the album is quite appealing. If the ghouls in the 1960s song "Monster Mash" were really hip, they'd be partying down to "Don't Shake Me Lucifer," a rollicking 1950s-inspired number with clear nods to Little Richard, and they'd be slow-dancing to "I Walked With a Zombie," a demented early-'60s ballad update. A number of other songs here suggest a drier, mid-tempo version of the garage psychedelia of Erickson's legendary 1960s band 13th Floor Elevators, especially "I Think of Demons," "Cold Night for Alligators," and the feedback-laden anthem "Two-Headed Dog." "Night of the Vampire" and "Stand for the Fire Demon" are ominously effective slow-tempo production numbers. The sound quality on this album is a bit trebly, but not bad. In general, this is an excellently listenable album. Note that this release's title as it appears on the disc label and jacket spine is five runic symbols unreproducible with a standard typewriter keyboard; other review sources give the eponymous title which has been listed above.

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