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The Krayolas - Happy Go Lucky (Box)

26 July 2022

San Antonio’s long-running Krayolas didn’t attract the power pop tastemakers back when the genre flourished in the eighties, never seeming to break out of their region until thirty-odd years later. It’s not for lack of quality material, however, as Happy Go Lucky demonstrates. Originally released in a different configuration in 1982 as Kolored Music, Happy Go Lucky boasts bright melodies, plainspoken lyrics and San Antonio’s famous West Side Horns, who add a sixties soul spice to the arrangements. Primary authors Hector Saldana and Barry Smith know their way around their sixties forebears, but still sound contemporary, even prescient. tunes like “Don’t Give Up Hope” and “Love is Gonna Getcha” (both sung by Hector’s drumming brother David) would’ve fit right in the mid-90s alt.rock set’s obsession with seventies Beach Boys, and the folky “We the People” sounds like it was written in the last year – “You’re on the wrong side of history,” indeed. Elsewhere, the sprightly title track, R&B-flavored “Roadrunner John” and fiercely rocking “All of the Time” put you right in that sweet spot championed by labels like Bomp! (who courted them). The Saldanas still lead the band today, and Happy Go Lucky holds up a prime slice of eighties power pop.