ALBUM REVIEW: Tijuana Bibles – Free Milk

Tijuana Bibles play an explosive style of rowdy post-punk flavored rock. The Glasgow-based band takes you back to a time when punk sprang from the seedy intersections of rock n’ roll in the early seventies. These guys are forward-thinking and time and dedication went into Free Milk (Button Up Records). It is thought out from a production and songwriting standpoint without feeling like the danger was edited out in the mix. 

They blend many sonic colors like the reverb-heavy guitar owed much to surf rock. “Pariah” finds them coming together as a sneered demeanor directs the song’s narrative. There is more of a post-punk feel to “Three is a Cult”, where certain phrases find the vocals sounding more like Jello Biafra. Their potential as great songwriters is tapped into with “The Wave” where their tense grooves are still catchy. 

The band veers into a bopping new wave hook on “Architect”, allowing their singer the space to prove he is capable of delivering an iconic performance. It nods back to the early 2000s when bands like Franz Ferdinand were writing dance-rock anthems. The title track is more spoken with a streetwise swagger, which takes them closer to the direction of punk rock’s current trend that is inspired by bands like Idles. “Unknown” is another excellent vocal performance that pushes things into a jangling indie rock direction. 

“Human Touch” is a more aggressive take on this new wave indie-rock they have been pumping out. The vocal and bass line serves as the punchiest parts of this song. “Moth Man” is a return to punk that carries more of a Cramps-like feel. “Slip into the Leather” has an angular riff that creeps behind it. It’s also at this juncture in the album when you might begin to notice that the songs are beginning to give off an increasingly more apparent Queens of the Stone Age vibe that eventually becomes even more pronounced in “Billionairhead”. 

As things take a gradual turn from the new-wave punk grooves, you begin to wonder if there was a struggle to determine the overall genre. However, this album is a great deal of fun which makes the shifting focus more forgivable. The vocals set them at the head of the current crop of bands doing this sort of thing. 

If you are looking for an album to help fight off seasonal depression as you ride to the local dispensary to re-stock then this is the album for you. 

Buy the album here:

8 / 10