CD Review

THE RED KRAYOLA, INTRODUCTION (DRAG CITY)

Better Red than dead. Photo by Chris Strong
Better Red than dead. Photo by Chris Strong

Unlike Roky E., the Red Krayola survived Texas in the late 1960s pretty much intact. But what a strange time it was, given the influence of the International Artists record label. The name itself suggested money and fame—which was also the original goal of the RK—but somewhere along the line things got weird, and 40 years later Mayo Thompson and whoever the fuck else are still plugging along. Sans the fame if not the money, though. Introduction opens with a spoken-word piece entitled, er, "Introduction," and the music is good ol' familiar Red Krayola, which is to say: completely unclassifiable. The disjointed guitars, out-of-time drums and monotone vocals make up a style that mirrors their philosophy of doing exactly what the fuck they want. I'd suggest starting with their classic Parable of Arable Lands before getting into the new stuff, which could be a little challenging: the scarily titled "Bling Bling" starts with the sound of a table saw and blends into a mellow accordion line with Mayo repeating the line "Bling bling/Go ahead city kids!" as the song devolves into an echo hole with some Jello Biafra-style screaming on top. If that sounds right up your alley, then obviously you understand something more than I do. But don't get me wrong. I like the Red Krayola. I just don't get it. 

 
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