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Boomkat Product Review:
True Love Cast Out All Evil features the first new material from 13th Floor Elevators legend Roky Erickson in some fourteen years, and with the help of fellow Texans Okkervil River he presents the cream of his unreleased songs, written at various points in a career spanning four decades. Okkervil frontman Will Sheff sifted through some sixty songs before arriving at the twelve-track selection that made the eventual album. In addition to cleaner, studio-bound takes offered up, a number of Erickson's recordings are plucked straight from the archive - some are actually dictaphone recordings harking back to the time of Erickson's incarceration at an asylum for the criminally insane. 'Devotional Number One' opens the album in heart-rending fashion, taking battered and ancient cassette-recorded acoustic balladry as its starting point, before gradually string swells and other more hi-fi overdubs join in. It's a beautiful effect, serving as an apt metaphor for this lost soul on his way back to rejoining the modern world after so much time spent in the wilderness. From here onwards Okkervil offer a contemporary rock backdrop for Erickson's catalogue, ranging from the epic, wistful 'Goodbye Sweet Dreams' to the wonderful country sounds of 'Be And Bring Me Home' or 'True Love Cast Out All Evil'. The band do a great job of facilitating Erickson's music, taking the role of 'backing band' beyond its usual logical constraints on a track like 'Please Judge', whose moving pleas for absolution are leant a biographical resonance by a sequence that manically collages old recordings from his institutionalised days - a rising tide of multiple voices that serves as a (potentially crass but ultimately rather poignant) reference to Erickson's struggles with paranoid schizophrenia.