Don’t Slander Me
For now at least my pick of the LightInTheAttic reissues of a trilogy of getting-my-shit-back-together-kinda albums by Roky Erickson is this one, Don’t Slander Me. Less overtly silly, less obviously about aliens and gimmickry, this bursts out with the kick-ass title song and winds through a charging set of punk/ish rock’n’roll. Epic power ballad Burn The Flames seems a better career summation of Frank Black than the entire Pixies/post-Pixies output – and at a time when Charles was probably still just masturbating over UFOs and maybe only just thinking about writing songs about that.
The wonderful documentary film, You’re Gonna Miss Me, did a fine job of reminding people about Roky – as well as documenting the battles he’s had. It’s nice to see the music being made available again – the trilogy of albums from the early/mid-80s is definitely worth checking out.
Don’t Slander Me features some great guitar playing – rock’n’roll riffs and slippery, rubbery leads – with Roky contributing some fine solos. There’s punk-inspired rockabilly (Crazy Crazy Mama) and with the Buddy Holly-meets-surf-rock You Drive Me Crazy Erickson offers his finest pop song since the garage-rock classic he penned back in his teens, You’re Gonna Miss Me.
Starry Eyes is almost Marshall Crenshaw-like/lite and The Damn Thing is another Pixies-ish ditty. Hasn’t Anyone Told You and Realize You’re Mine are almost Mint DeVille-aping and the B-52s-meets-Cramps spunk of Haunt is another highlight; an alternative take of it closes out this barmy (and even balmy) album reissue. Worth a listen.