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Best Riffs Only

The Krayolas

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Album Review

Sixteen tracks recorded between 1977 and 1988 are compiled on this CD collection of this San Antonio band, taken from (according to the brief liner notes) "long unavailable, out-of-print indie vinyl singles and rarities," though exact sources and dates for individual tracks aren't given. While Hector and David Saldana were always in the band during this period, the personnel changed quite a bit, and more than half-a-dozen different lineups are represented on this anthology. Partly for that reason, and partly due to its decade-plus chronological span, there's such a variety of styles on display that at times it seems like several different bands are represented on the disc. Generally speaking, however, it's well-done, high-spirited retro-rock encompassing several styles, including Merseybeat (particularly on their debut single "All I Do Is Try"/"Sometime"), instrumental surf ("Alamo Dragway"), power pop, roadhouse blue-eyed soul ("Roadrunner"), Tex-Mex-influenced new wave ("The Sphinx Won't Tell" sounds like a mixture of Elvis Costello and border music), and even '70s Van Morrison-styled horn rock ("Times Together"). Ultimately, British Invasion and power pop seemed to be their favored calling cards, though the two tracks with John Harris on vocals (the aforementioned "Roadrunner" and "Times Together") indicate that they might have gone through an R&B phase, so different do they sound than their surroundings.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s

San Antonio's the Krayolas began in the mid-'70s as teenage pop/rockers and with time have matured into one of Texas' best-respected independent rock bands. The Krayolas were formed in 1975 by singer, guitarist, and songwriter Hector Saldana and his brother David Saldana, who handled vocals, percussion, and sometimes keyboards. While arena rock was dominating radio and the outlaw country scene was all the rage in Texas, the Saldana brothers (still in high school at the time) offered something different:...
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Best Riffs Only, The Krayolas
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