Throwback Thread: Roky Erickson & the Aliens

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

When Roky Erickson founded The 13th Floor Elevators, he was already pretty weird. His neuroses resulted in manic psychedelia which stood at the forefront of the Nuggets canon and which was introduced to a wider audience at the beginning of High Fidelity. It was a blistering, balls-out type of rock made by a dude trying to do as many drugs as possible.

So you can imagine what he might sound like if he went truly crazy...

The Evil One dropped in 1981, after Erickson was arrested for drugs and spent a good stint in a mental hospital. The album title refers as much to Lucifer as the personal demons that plagued him throughout his life -- a kind of crushing despair that makes one sing about vampires, two-headed dogs and a creature with an atom brain.

The record is a bluesy rock stomper that would influence an era of shock rockers. Somehow it's actually more focused than almost anything else in his catalog. The above embedded link is to a great, two-disc re-issue of Evil One and other material.