Argentina - Flores, Buenos Aries
"The Ramones always seemed funny to us, the retarded image those guys have, and us having that kind of 'retardation' ourselves ready to get out. We were listening to the Ramones since 1984 and always said that we needed a band here that would do that. And if there wasn't one, we'll start it." The thoughts of vocalist Ciro pretty much sum up the early years of Attaque 77, a band formed by teenage working class kids in Buenos Aires in 1986 from the ashes of a previous effort called Cabeza de Navaja. Besides the Ramones influence (who visited Argentina a couple of times during the second half of the '80s), their heroes were late '70s UK punk pioneers, who were paid homage in the band's name. Ciro got tired of losing his voice during rehearsals and asked his brother, Federico Pertusi, to perform the vocals duties while he moved to bass. The early line-up also included Mariano and Daño on guitars and drummer Leiva. They recorded a demo including many of the songs that would later on appear on several of their proper releases.
Attaque 77's debut occured only about a year later, on October 23rd, 1987, playing with Descontrol. Their shows and demos, along with their strong live act, convinced Walter Kalm and Sergio Fasanelli (owners of the new independent record label Radio Tripoli) to offer the band a spot in the Invasión 88 that was then in the works, proving to be a wise bet, since both Attaque 77's tracks there ("B.A.D." and "Pasión de Multitudes") made the biggest impression first on radio DJs and then listeners, getting a regular airplay on radio stations. The compilation album also contained two tracks of Defensa Y Justicia, a band including most members of Attaque 77, althought faster and angrier. Defensa Y Justicia split up after the initial success of Attaque 77 – the latter, overcoming the departure of Daño and Leiva by asking Leonardo De Cecco (previously a member of LSD, Secuestro and Mal Momento) to become their new drummer. Attaque 77 soon recorded and released the 12" EP Dulce Navidad (not a proper full-length since Radio Tripoli's tight budget could not allow more studio time) in December of 1988. The record sold well despite being released during one of the biggest (among the many) Argentine economic crisis. In any case, the platter sewed the seeds for the riotous following the band would enjoy through their long career.
After problems with money and the departure of Federico, the band split up in early 1989, but not for long: Chino (ex-Comando Suicida) replaced Ciro in bass, with the latter becoming again Attaque 77's vocalist. In April of 1990, Radio Tripoli released their first full-length, El Cielo Puede Esperar. Their massive shows (documented in their 1991 live EP) were followed up by their second full-length, Angeles Caídos, continuing the musical direction of the first, adding maybe more of a (real) rock sound a la the early Stones and Motorhead. By then, Attaque 77 was one of the biggest selling rock artists in Argentina, but they weren't pleased with Radio Tripoli and signed to a major label. Similar to what happenned with Todos Tus Muertos, they became relatively known in Latin America and even toured in the US and Europe, while adopting a more commercial rock sound and even making inroads in other genres – even though they never completely left their punk sound, I would say that the influence of "new punk" eroded their crude, powerful melodic punk. On the other hand, their lyrics became more interesting, with the band not only singing radical left politics but also organizing and supporting benefits and political events.