This ‘Tijuana Bibles’ article was written by Tim Thackray, a GIGsoup contributor
Glasgow has proved a ripe breeding ground for rock and roll bands, providing the stormy backdrop to the formation of Primal Scream, as well more recent groups such as The Fratellis and current stadium hopefuls Twin Atlantic. Tijuana Bibles are hoping to continue that tradition with their latest EP, ‘Ghost/Dance/Movement.’
If the EP title sounds a little like a contemporary dance version of Casper the Friendly Ghost, musically the four-piece waste no time in introducing their filthy and frenetic sound. Opener ‘Apogee’ is a dark and twisted affair which has hints of AM-era Arctic Monkeys and Queens of the Stone Age riffs. Delivered with pounding drums and falsetto harmonies, it has enough attitude to stand out from the crowd.
Lyrically, it often sounds like they’ve taken a few after-hours trips to The British Museum, got their mucky fingers on the artifacts and then used their fingerprints to stick together the references. The result is an ever-intriguing onslaught of wordplay veering from Italian art to the concept of butterfly machine guns. The rhymes come thick and fast, but they’re delivered with such a confident flow and abstract invention that they never become clichéd.
Second track ‘Ghost Dance’ embraces their more free-spirited side, with its pagan-ritual sounding chorus that rises from underneath the song’s relentless crunchy riff, while ‘Sun Chaser’ confirms their penchant for combining nature’s highs with the dirty underbelly of the city. ‘Six to Midnight’ meanwhile blends sleazy guitars with brooding lyrics and gives you the compelling desire to grab the nearest leather jacket and dark shades post-haste.
With the band named after pocked-sized pornographic comic books, Tijuana Bibles probably aren’t men you’d invite round for afternoon tea. Like the books, which were illegally written by unknown authors, there’s a seedy mystery behind the band that they reproduce perfectly on this EP. Making that leap from local-scene conquerors to radio playlists isn’t always the most seamless transition, but the Glasgow boys might just have enough bravado to be bothering a few more listeners in the coming months.