Cash-in reunions from chart-topping warhorses aren’t tough to predict: Few could feign surprise at, say, the Police returning to arenas for ticket prices equivalent to the average family vacation. But foreseeing a new collaboration by the members of San Antonio’s Krayolas—and their first full-length studio album in 21 years—was much more of a long shot. Dating back to 1975, the Krayolas, like the Sir Douglas Quintet a decade earlier, gave the British Invasion their own Texas bent. Led by brothers Hector and David Saldana, the Krayolas played infectious, sunny pop (the K in their name was in tribute to Hector’s favorite band, the Kinks) that quickly attained fabled status in the Alamo City. To say La Conquistadora (Box) picks up right where the band left off is a gross understatement; in many ways, the band sounds better than ever. With the West Side Horns and former Doug Sahm compadre Augie Meyers along for the ride, sparkling melodic gems pour forth. Instead of striving to re-create their glory days, the Krayolas make music like a band with plenty more ahead of them.
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