Tia Carrera – Visitors / Early Purple (Small Stone Records, 22 March 2019)
Many of you may already be familiar with this group, who rose to superstardom when they appeared in the 1992 film Wayne’s World as the fictional band Crucial Taunt, as well as having a few of their songs appear on the soundtrack. But perhaps you soon lost track of these guys, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if you hadn’t heard that several years later they decided to move to Texas, fire the lead singer, fire the rest of the band, bring in a completely new set of musicians, not bring in a new singer, and adopt more of an improvisational psychedelic style.
To cap it all off, they went on to alter the spelling of their name just barely enough to avoid any potential lawsuits. See, in a situation similar to Alice Cooper, who had been the vocalist of the Alice Cooper Band prior to his appearance in Wayne’s World, the original singer of Tia Carrere legally changed her name to the band’s name — using it in her acting career when she, too, played roles in Wayne’s World and its sequel. This left the rest of the band — which, to reiterate, by this time consisted of entirely different members anyway — in an awkward position, and they had little choice other than to change the name to Tia Carrera.
Or to put it another way, virtually nothing I’ve said thus far has been even remotely true, aside from “Texas” and “improvisational psychedelic style.” Austin-based trio Tia Carrera, who (as far as I can tell) are completely unrelated to the similarly-named actress or her fake glam rock cover band, put out an album with two new lengthy songs (their first new material since 2011!) via Small Stone earlier this year, and if you haven’t heard it yet, I’m going to tell you why you should.