Argentina - Buenos Aires
Band History written by Federico
The core of what eventually became Alerta Roja ("Red Alert"), formed in Buenos Aires in 1981 and was part of the first wave of Argentine Punk, which dared to be active under the military dictatorship. The line up was Mongo (real name Sergio Spatavecchia, vocals), Pablo Strangler, Fernan (drums) and Jose (bass). As Sergio said in a 1999 interview for the newspaper Pagina 12: "We were only four or five guys. Most of them upper class people from the Belgrano neighborhood that had money to buy imported records that in those days were hard to get. And there was me, born in the Maciel Island and living in Gerli (poor areas around Argentina's capital). But still, the mixture was good. In the case of Alerta Roja, we were first called Los Psicopatas. They censured us. Later on we became Estado De Sitio and the same thing happened and before Malvinas (the Falkland war between Argentina and Great Britain that happened between April and June 1982) we called ourselves Alerta Roja in order to reflect the situation the country was going through. People didn't understood punk then, the same way they don't understand it now. We were neither commies nor nazis. We just sung revolution, we wanted a much more powerful change. We were apolitical, totally anarchist. Alerta Roja wanted to reach a large audience without 'selling out.'"
Alerta Roja were second only to Los Violadores in terms of popularity in the Argentine punk scene of 1982-1984, but unlike them, their career was relatively short, releasing only the Derrumbando la Casa Rosada cassette through their own Pelmaso label in 1984, even though half the material was recorded a year before. The 19 song tape remind in places of Los Violadores formula of sped up '77 punk but Alerta Roja also added post-punk and metallic influences. Most of the lyrics attack censorship and the injustice created by the military dictatorship, as it can be seen in songs such as "Desocupacion" ("Unemployment"): "In these days there are wars, hunger and disorder, in these days my oppressed country will totally breakdown, in these days censorship denies me the truth concerning facts/ Unemployment/ This nation of meat and wheat, of sun and wine, today everything is hunger, lies and soup kitchens/ unemployment for 3 million Argentines." Unfortunately, the band broke up soon afterwards. They got together a year later for recording a new project, but it remained unfinished. Sergio continued to play in 80s underground bands such as El Klan and X-Instinto, their drummer entered a rehab clinic and I don't have a clue about the fate of the others.