Song of the day – 114: Los Saicos
As someone wrote on YouTube underneath this clip, “Everything we used to know about rock and roll is false”.
What can I say? Until a couple of hours I didn’t have the slightest idea who Peruvian underground 60s garage group Los Saicos were. Now, I can’t even begin to imagine how I got this far without them. Their music, if you want to be crass about it, supplies some weird South American link between The Monks, The Trashmen (‘Surfin’ Bird’) and anything depraved Lux Interior once turned his hand to… but, much as I respect Mr Interior’s curation skills back in the late 70s, I can’t imagine even he was aware of this razor-sharp, gravel-throated combo. They outdo early Beatles in the impassioned ballad stakes, honest. The drumming is immaculate (you can’t imagine that for one instant that sticks man Pancho once crossed his arms). The rockabilly inflexion is genius. But it’s the vocals on tracks like ‘Ven Aqui’ and ‘Demolición’ that I keep coming back to. Honest to Bangs, they drip menace and charisma and swagger.
Here, have a listen for yourself.
Spain’s peerless Munster Records have just reissued… well, everything by Los Saicos in a typically sumptuous package, the one pictured in the advert below. I believe that Munster were also partly responsible for the most recent resurgence in interest in The Monks, so they have form - and certainly ‘Camisa de fuerza’ could be mistaken for the bowl-headed gentlemen’s finer moments. And Munster are certainly responsible for the incredible current reissue of all Daniel Johnston‘s early cassettes.
So, check them out. Totally incredible stuff.