With Roky Erickson’s well documented history of mental illness, it’s only natural to try to draw connections between his personal history and the sentiments he expresses in “Goodbye Sweet Dreams.”  It’s much more difficult, however, to ascertain whether Erickson is bidding adieu to madness or if he’s wishing away peace.  The problem arises as Erickson repeats the mantra “Goodbye Sweet Dreams,” over deliberately strummed electric guitar chords, his backing band (Members of the Austin, TX outfit Okeervil River) surround him with menacing swirls of sound.  Are these squelches and squeals the sound of psychosis escaping or psychosis returning?  Only Erickson can tell.

MP3: Roky Erickson – Goodbye Sweet Dreams (via Pitchfork)

Roky Erickson’s new album, True Love Cast Out All Evil, will be available April 20th on Anti Records. He’ll be in town as part of the Beachland Ballroom’s Tenth Anniversary Weekend on Saturday, March 6th where he’ll be backed by Kyle Ellison (Meat Puppets/Butthole Surfers) on guitar, Matt Harris (The Posies) on bass and Kyle Schneider (Charlie Sexton/Ian Moore) on bass drums.

Roky Erickson on Anti Records