Roky Erickson & The Resurrectionists

Beauty & the Beast

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Recorded with a three-piece backup band, the Resurrectionists, Erickson takes it to the stage in this 1982 live recording. Erickson's in fierce, scary voice, as well he should be, while the band fires everything up with loud, almost punk-inspired energy, skipping through many different numbers of Erickson's checkered

but fascinating career. "Two Headed Dog" kicks things off with the appropriate scabrous élan -- Jimmy Jones' lead guitar thankfully avoids wank soloing in favor of adding just the right color to the proceedings -- and from there the foursome freak out. If the overall arrangements from the band are at base one note -- high volume and blaring -- it's still a great note to be playing in. Recording quality is somewhere between clean and muddy; it's not quite a bootleg but something's still a little off about the mix. Everything comes through well enough, though, especially Erickson's inimitable wail. Highlights include the bluesy crawl and snarl of "The Beast," with Erickson's yelps perfectly matching the threatening music, a great "I Walked With a Zombie," and a lengthy concluding splatter through "Creature With the Atom Brain." "You're Gonna Miss Me" makes its fully expected appearance with some appropriately squalling, monstrous guitar and enthusiastic cheers from the rabid fans watching. Beauty and the Beast may not be deathlessly great stuff from Erickson, but as a wild and woolly reminder of his genius, it's more than good listening.

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