Earlier this year we learned that American punk music was not exactly the brainchild of those mop-headed Ramone kids. Instead, the genre has earlier roots in a little band known as "Death." Born out of Detroit, the group of three brothers are credited with forming not only the first black punk band, but quite possibly the first U.S. punk band ever.
Now a documentary by Noisey is shedding light on what might be one of the first punk bands... in the world. The group in question was called Los Saicos, consisting of four guys by the names of Erwin Flores, Rolando Carpio, César "Papi" Castrillón, and Pancho Guevara who played together for approximately two years in the 1960s. Channeling just enough anger and garage sensibilities, the motley crew of amateur musicians combined psychobilly with surf rock a decade before punk hit the shores of England or the dark venues of New York City.
The title of "first punk band" is certainly debatable, but Los Saitos' claim to the title has grown in recent years as contemporary musicians like The Black Lips have cited the Peruvian group as inspiration. "They are the first to play what later became punk. There was no name for that at the time, but the riffs are definitely punk," explained José Beramendi, the producer of the 2012 documentary "Saicomania", to The Guardian. "You expect this sound from North America or Europe, but it's not something you expect to hear in the 1960s in Latin America."
"Punk rock music is a piece of shit," explains Erwin Flores, lead singer of Los Saicos in the short Noisey film, featured above. "It's music made by musicians who have no idea what they are doing. Musicians play whatever they want, and people who don't have a clue get excited about it."
Sounds punk rock to us. Watch the 13-minute documentary above and let us know your thoughts on Los Saicos in the comments. Does it make you want to turn "Demolición" up to 11?