Savage Young Krayolas

The Krayolas

Saustex/ Box Records, 2020

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


If you haven't heard of The Krayolas before, you're not the only one. They’re a Texas garage rock band who were most active in the late '70s through the mid '80s; Savage Young Krayolas, a lost record from their formative years, is the debut album that never was, but sure should have been. 

The rockin' listen leads with the charged garage rock fun of “Aw Tonight,” where swift drumming and energetic guitars suit the gritty yet tuneful singing. This formula continues to the rhythmic, powerful power-pop of “You're Not My Girl.”my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Thankfully, the band doesn’t hide their influences at all, as their version of The Kinks' “You Really Got Me” does the original justice, while “Cry Cry, Laugh Laugh” is dripping with retro-rock fun with some of the best singing and sharp guitar riffs.

The second side is equally brilliant, and includes the hand clapping and harmonic backing vocals of “All I Do Is Try,” while “I Just Wanna” shakes, bounces and rocks in a way that could soundtrack a school dance many decades ago.

Deeper yet, the rumbling “Alamo Dragway” recruits some surf rock tendencies amid the crashing percussion of the fiery instrumental. The piano friendly and vocally strong “Sunny Day” flirts with gospel tendencies as the band prove that their not just guitar driven.

“Three Girls Flying In From Mexico City” finishes the record on a very high note, where their strong attention to detail draws parallels to legends like Cheap Trick or The Dave Clark Five, which could never be a bad thing.

Appropriately known as the Tex Mex Beatles, The Krayolas made plenty of fans in their home and neighboring states before breaking up in 1988. Reunions have happened since,  though recently the original member Barry Smith passed away.

Amazingly, these songs were penned when The Krayolas’ members were just teenagers, but you'd never know it, because this trio rock ‘n’ rolls like seasoned vets. This release sounds as great today as it did then, and likely will 50 years from now, too.

Rating: A

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© 2021 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Saustex/ Box Records, and is used for informational purposes only.