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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roky with some decent production values (at last), 22 Aug 2009
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This review is from: Evil One (Plus One) CD (Audio CD)
This is still the album Roky promotes when on Tour (at least the London gig in August 09)and is basically a tribute to those horror B movies of the early sixties, as the track listing should tell you. Unlike the Elevator's stuff and a lot of other Roky it has a good sound quality, not that it loses any of that Raw energy. It's well crafted, some great songs and tunes. Probably too many and the alternate versions don't add a lot.
If I only got one Roky album this would be it. I know the other reviewer talks about his state of mind being unhinged and you can sorta see that but this is very tongue in cheek perspective of the horror genre. It's high energy and rocks along nicely. Definitely a little alternative and more edgy than say Alice Cooper or Iggy Pop these days but isn't that what you want out of Rock 'n' Roll? To me this is a kinda Texan Syd Barrett but a little more sinister. What more do you need?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radio-friendly Roky, 4 Dec 2009
E=MC5 (Lewes, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Evil One (Plus One) CD (Audio CD)
This collection of songs from Roky's horror movie phase is packed full of great tunes but it's Roky's vocal performances that make it truly special. He's one of rock's great vocalists with a great emotional range - White Faces on the extra disc is thrillingly demented while just repeating the phrase "I walked with a zombie last night" builds up a feeling of elegaic melancholy in me. Mine Mine Mind is pop genius and is one of several tracks that put me in mind of REM. For a different quieter side to his songwriting I also recommend his All That May Do My Rhyme album.

Unlike the product description, the copy I received was split into 2 CDs, the first being the original album and the second a late-70's recording of an American radio show called The Modern Humans where Roky is interviewed between previews of many of the as yet unreleased album tracks. Most of these cuts are more raw and urgent than the actual album tracks, which is a mighty compliment, and so I've found myself listening to this bonus disk over and over again. White Faces, Sputnik and Bloody Hammer really rock on this disk and Creature with the Atom Brain sounds like Michael Stipe singing over a Fall track to me.

Finally, I need to mention the great between tracks interview with Roky and a very entertaining on-the-air phone-in session. He comes across as a nice guy with a passion for rock'n'roll and B-movies - nothing like how he comes across in Nick Kent's book The Black Stuff. We all know he's had some difficult mental health episodes but, as another reviewer has noted, the assumption that these songs are directly addressing his personal demons is a bit overdone. After returning from his turn of the 70's hiatus the whole 60's psychedelic thing was over and so he needed something new to write songs about... so he took inspiration from the B-movies that he grew up loving.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sound of a very troubled man..., 29 May 2006
This review is from: Evil One (Plus One) CD (Audio CD)
Roky Erickson spent time in a mental institute and it is obvious from hearing this is top quality rock, a work of pure genius on so many levels but listening to the lyrics you can tell that he is not a man of sound mind, as songs such as 'Bloody Hammer', 'White Faces' and 'I Think of Demons' quite rightly suggest. If you're a fan of good old rock n roll go out and buy this album straight away and listen to a document of what goes on in the mind of a man who claims to have had a brain hernia!!! Buy now or face the wrath of the creature with the atom brain!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How is this album not currently in print?????, 10 May 2011
Mr. Paul D. Maher "joey-chickenskin" (Nottingham NG7) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Evil One (Plus One) CD (Audio CD)
At the time of writing this Evil One does not seem to be in print let alone Evil One Plus One, which is the original album plus an album of demos and a highly entertaining collection of excerpts of Roky on a radio show. I simply don't understand this.

The appeal to me of Roky Erickson, especially from this period in his life, post institutions and preoccupied with horror movies is that like Daniel Johnston (the number of similarities between these artists is astounding)Roky sings about supernatural characters and settings as though they are real. I don't mean that he thinks that they real but that he isn't winking knowingly at the showbusiness of it all like most terrible metal.

He is able to completely immerse himself in the cartoon worlds of those songs so that when he's singing 'Night of the Vampire' he's as committed as a good actor in a horror film to the reality of that situation and the performances are so exciting because of it. Creature with the atom brain and especially the demo version has Roky riffing on the film's script as though he is in that movie. It's all supernatural situations but Roky is a truly poetic performer, listeing to 'If you have Ghosts, you have everything' makes complete sense when he sings it, it's as though he manages to squeeze emotional juice out of the most superficial cultural settings.

I'm not really sure how you listen to Alice Cooper camping it up after hearing Roky tearing into Night of the Vampire, Stand for the Fire Demon, Creature with the Atom Brain and especially Bloody Hammer a truly chilling song that is explained in the interview on disc 2 and is my number one Halloween song.

Rocky's voice and guitar playing are explosive. The album comes on the heels of punk rock and his guitar playing seems to stem from the same Chuck Berry roots as the New York Dolls or the Sex pistols but I think he would have made these ferocious recordings anyway.

Evil One is a great album but Disc two is a treat. Roky explains some of his songs and interests on a radio programme called 'Modern Human's show'. He explains the macarbre origins of the song Bloody Hammer, tries to out-freak-out a caller who asks him about his depravity (as a compliment, it turns out), is incredibly kind to another caller who has lost his way (the callers are all entertainingly strange) and is typically evasive about anything that alludes to his brand of perception, his mental health or his personal life, probably for good reasons.

I only discovered Roky Erickson last year and spent about four months devouring everything I could get hold of, he's a truly individual and exciting musician who i plan to see as soon as possible and I think that this album represents his most exciting material.

I love this album!
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Evil One (Plus One) CD
Evil One (Plus One) CD by Roky Erickson (Audio CD - 2009)
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