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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Los Saicos

Demolicion! The Complete Recordings (Phantom)

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We tend to think of garage rock as the product of exchange between the U.S. and the U.K., going from early rock to The Yardbirds’ electric blues and back to The Count Five and the Nuggets groups. But while the genre’s roots may lie in the English-speaking world, its influence reverberated far beyond. 

Lima, Peru’s Los Saicos (“Psychos”), who cut only six singles from roughly 1964 to 1967, possessed all the hallmarks of the sound: the insistent backbeat, scorching guitar and howling vocals. The group incorporated other influences—a splash of surf, a hit of psych—as their stateside counterparts were wont to do, but mostly just stuck to lean, effective rock. While they were often labeled wild or rebellious (dig the lyrics to “Demolición”) in the end, they end up sounding like any number of groups (The Seeds, The 13th Floor Elevators, etc.). I suppose they have garages all over the world.