Chemikal Underground offers the inestimable Mr Roky Erickson a fond, Glaswegian embrace: thrilled to be working with a bona fide living legend, we're honoured to have The 13th Floor Elevators' frontman allow us to release his first album in 15 years. That the album 'True Love Cast Out All Evil' also features Okkervil River on production and backing duties just makes the whole enterprise all the sweeter...
Roky Erickson's life and career is the stuff of darkly fantastic fiction: while his early teenage success with The 13th Floor Elevators pioneered psychedelic garage rock and ensured him a place at the table with rock's most influential artists, the thirty years that followed were a grotesque cavalcade of bankruptcy, drug addiction, mental illness, electro-shock therapy, deteriorating health and social withdrawal. That Roky has endured these hardships is a thing of wonder; that he has managed to not only endure but triumph, re-marrying his wife of 35 years (who now shares their home in South Austin), forging a relationship with his previously estranged son (who was instrumental in Roky's recovery) and ultimately returning to the studio to make music again is nothing short of miraculous.
The roll call of bands influenced by Roky's music is simply too long to list here: from REM to Spacemen 3, The Jesus And Mary Chain to Julian Cope, ZZ Top to Primal Scream - all of them and more owe a debt to the scuzzed-up garage rock of Erickson and The 13th Floor Elevators. All the more exciting then, to have him return to the studio, this time with Will Sheff from Okkervil River producing and his band provide an impeccably sensitive backdrop for Roky's heart-rending vocals. The result, 'True Love Cast Out All Evil', is a profoundly moving and honest potrayal of a life, once blighted by addiction, incarceration and mental illness, but now rediscovered through the patient help and support of family and friends.
Not ones to be overly sycophantic with such things we at Chemikal have to come right out and say that the themes of loss and redemption on this album, Roky's vocal performances and the jaw-dropping back-story to its creation make 'True Love Cast Out All Evil' one of our most significant releases and we couldn't be more proud to be involved.