Monday, November 29, 2010

Roky Erickson - I Have Always Been Here Before (the Anthology)

Roky Ericson

I Have Always Been Here Before (the Anthology) (1965-1995):  Now if you really want to hear some Texas psycho-hippie freakout, this old boy’s the genu-wine article. Actually, aside from his demonic vocal screech and decidedly odd (and certainly drug-damaged) subject matter, nearly all of the songs here are pretty conventional in structure – just sturdy folk-rocky pop. Almost all of the songs reach the level of ‘good’ if only time to time reaching ‘great’ (“Two Headed Dog” is a garage rock screamer worthy of the Stooges). Even his ‘80s and ‘90s material show his talent undiminished by time – this is perhaps one of the most consistently enjoyable two-disc career anthologies I have in my collection. At times recalling Buddy Holly, Jefferson Airplane, CCR (Stu Cook produced some of his ‘70s work), and presaging Guided By Voices, he’s clearly an American original. If only the 13th Floor Elevators hadn’t overabused that electric jug gimmick on their ‘60s albums. ****

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