Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Planetary Pebbles, Vol. 2: Exitos A Go Go - 60's Teenbeat South of the Border

Originally published in Teenage Kicks #3, Spring 1999

My friend Julie Dodgshon and I teamed up to write this CD review for Teenage Kicks - but first we had to take a course in Spanish For Beginners!

Various Amigos
Exitos A Go Go - 60's Teenbeat South of the Border
AIP Records (1998)

There are two interesting things about this CD, and neither is the music. Dubbed "60's Teenbeat South of the Border," Exitos A Go Go presents over two dozen garage, psych, surf, and pop-inspired bands from such unlikely locales as Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, and the Canary Islands. And that's the numero uno point: At a time when most of America couldn't tell the Shadows of Knight from the Standels, farfisa-powered garage punk was spreading like wildfire through the Latino culture. The liner notes, lovingly penned by the legendary Phast Phreddie (readers of famed 'zine Back Door Man will know him well), are the second reason to pick up this CD.

For the most part though, the 26 songs (many of them sung in English!) are derivative imitations of their American and British cousins. Chile's Los Sicodelicos provide a Searchers-worthy tune with "Solo tu Nombre Puede Cortar las Flores," while Spain's Los Canarios revel in simplistic bashing ala the Troggs with "3-2-1-Ah!" Mexico's Ruben Y Sus Emociones go for the soulful styling of the Temptations using a riff lifted from "Get Ready" for their "Mari y Juana."

Los Hitters and Los Temerarios both picked up on the California go-go/surf craze, while Los Romancieros had the lock on the spaghetti western soundtrack scene. Argentina's Los In were reportedly big stars in their home country, but their version of Love's "My Little Red Book" ("Mi Pequeno Libro Rojo") is lounge-band weak at best. And Uruguay's Los Shakers are so into the Beatles that their "Don't Ask Me Love" might as well be a Revolution-era cover.

While there might not have been a riot on Tequila Sunrise Strip, this CD does prove that there was mucho fuzz and wah-wah action south of the border. And for that, we say, "muy bueno!"

Devorah and Julie

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