Terrell's Tuneup: Los Peyotes "Introducing ..."
Back in the mid ’60s, when “96 Tears” and “Wooly Bully” ruled the airwaves, the heroes of the sound that would later be termed “garage rock” were Hispanics. Question Mark and all of his Mysterians were Chicanos. So was Domingo Samudio, better known as Sam the Sham, who with The Pharaohs blended Tex-Mex and Memphis soul into an exciting sound.
And even though Doug Sahm and Augie Meyers were gringos, their Sir Douglas Quintet, which included drummer Johnny Perez, also capitalized on the Tex-Mex sound. They might have tried to pass as British, but there was no way to miss the San Antonio in their music.
So with that history, it shouldn’t be surprising that some of the most exciting contemporary bands propagating the garage-band sound come from Spanish-speaking territory. There’s The Hollywood Sinners and Wau y Los Arrrghs from Spain. And from the great nation of Argentina comes Los Peyotes, who recently released their debut album — Introducing Los Peyotes — on London’s Dirty Water Records (also home to The Hollywood Sinners).
These guys have the basic fuzz-Farfisa-and-frantic-rhythm sound down pat. They even get surfy now and then, like on the instrumental opening song, “El Corredor Quemado,” and on “Psicosis V.”
The singer, who goes by the name David Peyote, sometimes sings in English as well as in Spanish. “Action, action ... oh, gimme your love!” he sings in “Action.” Those are some of the only decipherable lyrics in the tune, but really, what more do you need to know?
Just in time for Halloween, there are some good, fun horror hits (well, they ought to be hits) here. My favorite part of “Vampiro” is when the wild bongos come in toward the end. Then there’s “Scream,” which features a recurring screech playing off a frantic guitar.
To show their great debt to the original American garage-band sound, Los Peyotes have a song called “No Puedo Hacerte Mia.” Yes, it’s a Spanish version of The Seeds’ “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine.” (The original has recently been excavated for an Axe body spray commercial.) Los Peyotes do the song justice. You’d think Sky Saxon had changed his name to Sky Sanchez.