ROKY ERICKSON: Don’t Slander Me: CD

Re-release of a 1982 record from this Texas tormented genius. Backed by the Aliens, one of his better backing bands, Roky gives us some wild ones on this bad boy. The title track is a flat-out rocker. “Burn the Flames,” which some of you may remember from the Night of the Living Dead soundtrack, is still damn creepy. “Bermuda” tells the tale of taking a trip that you may never return from—ever! “Can’t Be Brought Down” is a killer song in the 13th Floor Elevators vein. This record also features a more twangy version of “Starry Eyes” that I think I like better than later reworks. King Coffey (Butthole Surfers) polished up Roky’s “new” version a little too much on All That May Do My Rhyme. The outtakes are also very cool. I hear Roky’s been playing live for the first time in quite a while. But unless you live in Austin—good luck, you have about as much of a chance of hearing these songs live as catching Syd Barrett strumming “Dark Globe” in a coffeehouse. So get the next best thing and purchase this excellent reissue.

 –koepenick (Rykodisc)