ROKY ERICKSON AND THE ALIENS – The Evil One (1981)

Review by: Irfan Hidayatullah
Album assigned by: A.A

To this date, I haven’t really acquaintanced with the 13th Floor Elevators’ work, apart from the Nuggets-made-famous “You’re Gonna Miss Me”, so I can’t really compare Roky Erickson’s style with his new ‘band’ with that one. Based on the description of his previous works, however, this could not be a hell of a stylistic change, there are still traces of garage rock sounds, coupled with typical seventies hard rock/roots rock style.
 
Despite being released in 1980, a quick listen to the album’s sound shows that this record still belongs to the seventies: just a typical garage band with guitar-bass-drums and minimal amount of electronic keyboards. To go with the new sound, apparently Roky made himself a formula: typical mid-tempo/fast hard rock with loud riffs, powerful screaming and a couple special effects thrown in for a good measure. The melodies are not really memorable; even if there’s an attempt to catch the listeners in, be it by a couple vocal hooks, sometimes going for different grooves, different tempos, etc., yet I have a hard time telling the songs from one to another. Okay, so “Two Headed Dog” may be one of the most memorable here, underpinned by a riff similar to the one found at the Kinks’ “Set Me Free”. There’s also an unexpected shifts in moods, to the cheerier one, like the CCR-esque “I Walked With a Zombie” (I wonder if the sound has got anything to do with Stu Cook producing?), or the more upbeat “Mine Mine Mind”.
 
The rest of the album, however, are rather difficult to go in one sitting, at least for me. There’s nothing really offensive to be found–yet it sounds way too formulaic to catch my attention throughout. I guess repeated listening will do the trick, as I haven’t subjected this to more than one proper listen; in the end, this could be recommended to any Elevators’ fan looking for more products, or any typical seventies garage/hard rock fans. Don’t expect a mind-blowing masterpiece, though.
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Author: tomymostalas

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