Red Krayola (formerly The Red Crayola) was a psychedelic, experimental rock band from Houston, Texas, formed by art students at the University of St. Thomas (Texas) in 1966. The band was led by singer/guitarist and visual artist Mayo Thompson, along with drummer Frederick Barthelme (brother of novelist Donald Barthelme) and Steve Cunningham. Their work prefigured punk, post-punk, indie rock and the no wave scene in 1980s New York City.
They made noise rock, psychedelia and occasionally folk/country songs and instrumentals in a DIY fashion, an approach that presaged the lo-fi aesthetic of many 1990s US indie rock groups. Reviewing the band has produced conflicted results - in an extremely positive review from Pitchfork Media, critic Alex Lindhardt wrote "It's a band that has no idea how to play its instruments. In fact, they don't even know what instruments are, or if the guitarist has the ability to remain conscious long enough to play whatever it is a 'note' might be." He added, "This is a band that was paid ten dollars to stop a performance in Berkeley. If Berkeley's not having it, you know you're in for rough sledding."
Thompson has continued using the name, in its legally required permutation The Red Krayola, for his musical projects since.
- ^ The Parable of Arable Land / God Bless the Red Krayola and All Who Sail With It | Pitchfork