JOVEN GUARDIA- Joven Guardia

Not strictly speaking an album, being a compilation of this Argentine beat bands various EPs and singles. Highly regarded in their native country as one of the two best beat bands of the 60’s, they did in fact release three albums of beat-pop towards the end of the 60’s, but they also released a number of singles which were not taken from those albums, and these are collected together on this album. ‘Soy Igual A Los Demas’ was the lead track from a 1970 EP, and is good 60’s style pop, while ‘Nadie Me Comprende’ is a great beat ballad. ‘Que Mala Suerte Que’ is heavy on the piano, and comes across as a sort of Beatles influenced pub band. ‘Koki Borollo’ is a freakbeat offering, with snorting sound effects, a vocalist singing with a peg on his nose, and yet the best guitar solo on the album. ‘La Extrana De Las Botas Rosas’ was the title track to their 1969 album, and has more of an American feel to it, perhaps through the use of harmonica in the middle eight. This track was actually used in a TV commercial, and so is probably their best known number. Both ‘La Luna No Es Mas De Queso’ and ‘Sos Una Piantada’ have very Beatlesque arrangements, with harmony vocals on their extremely catchy choruses, while ‘Huelga Si’ is a much more upbeat number, with a suitably freaky guitar solo. Although this collection was put together privately from the original singles and albums, there is an official compilation out there somewhere, but you might have to search hard for it as I have never seen any of their albums around on CD. This is a shame as the band certainly had something about them, and they only reason that I can think of as to why they are not more well known is that their style of beat music was more a product of the mid 60’s than the late 60’s, and so they missed the boat by a couple of years. Still, if you do ever get a chance to hear their work then give them a chance.