Americano

Americano

San Antonio’s KRAYOLAS arrived on the scene with matching suits and catchy Kinks-like material that already seemed retro in the new-wave eighties era. After some regional success, they hung it up, and that would have been that, had not an effort to preserve their original master tapes led to a reunion two decades down the road. On their 2008 comeback, La Conquistadora, they emerged older, wiser, and with their local culture stamped indelibly on their music. The harder-rocking 2009 follow-up, Long Leaf Pine (No Smack Gum), yielded an uncharacteristic hit about a grim border slaying, “Corrido Twelve Heads in a Bag,” and perhaps in reaction to that, their latest, AMERICANO (Box), is lighter fare. Writer-singer Hector Saldaña has an uncanny knack for fresh yet simple melodies, and the Krayolas are equally comfortable with garage rock (“Missed the Last Train”), flat-out pop (“If I Can’t Have You”), and delectable Tejano-flavored soufflés (“Fruteria”). Prolific to a fault, they take some wild shots (“Wall of Accordion”), but overall the Krayolas score with another fine, schizophrenic set.

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