Thirty years ago, in San Antonio, teenage garage band The Krayolas walked into the legendary West Side studio, Zaz and quickly became known as the "Tex-Mex Beatles" with their pop-hooked British Invasion sound that had definite influences from Herman's Hermits, Warren Zevon, and of course the Beatles. They quickly drew a crowd with a few local hits.
This year, they are truly back from the dead with an all-new just released album titled, "Long Leaf Pine (no smack gum)". The first hit off this album is titled "Corrido Twelve Heads in a Bag", which describes in Mariachi song style the drug cartel violence on the US-Mexico border. This song is quite a departure from the British invasion sound of their youth.
They've changed direction a bit with the addition of a horn section and the mariachi sounds of an accordion played by Michael Guerra, but lead singer Hector Saldana still sounds a bit like Warren Zevon to me.
Saldana told me in an e-mail The Krayolas have been called "the last of the Chicano garage rockers" but that the band "just calls it rock 'n' roll."
The band has recently been featured on Little Steven Van Zandt's Sirius/XM radio show and in Van Zandt's showcase during the South By Southwest music festival last month. See them play at the NBA playoffs on April 28th at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.