CD REVIEW: Tijuana Bullfight - Southern California
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist/Band: Tijuana Bullfight
Album: Southern California:
Sounds Like: STP, Nirvana, Filter, The Toadies, Cake, Dinosaur Jr. and harder material from Weezer.
Genre: Alternative Rock, Hard Rock, Grunge
Technical Grade: 7/10
Weakness: Respective Catalog, more solo segments, Snare drum tonality, a few winded songs
Tijuana Bullfight a big, haunting quartet with members emerging from the OC punk, LA underground scene…..and, have nothing to do with any bullfight and or harming of any animal.The band hails from Southern California, after two, now expired, record deals, core members Anthony Binikos and Mark Atienza have established TJBF Global LLC. to facilitate all aspects of music, publishing, clothing and branding of TJBF & TIJUANA. Their latest release “Southern California” was released in 2013
The CD quickly takes to flight with rocking intro piece “Desire” This song serves up infectious rocked out guitars painted against mesmerizing vocals, hypnotic lyrical content and dynamic rhythms that quickly lead you by the hand down the path of grungy/dirty musical indulgence. Track 2 “Other Than Me” keeps things rocking with its rock steady groove, impressive touches and accents painted against a rocked out sound. The striking musical flow of this piece brilliantly moves like an ocean across the ears. All in all it’s my favorite piece on the CD. Track 3 “Too Fast” is an impressive rock piece that is quite melodic, full of power and intrigue that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. This piece is remarkably striking to the ears as well with its Alternative Rock touches and hypnotic vibe. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic STP, Nirvana, Filter, The Toadies, Cake, Dinosaur Jr. and harder material from Weezer. I would classify this music as Alternative Rock, Hard Rock with a grip it and rip it Indie College Rock flair. I can also hear experimental music with classic remnants of Seattle Grunge. The CD presents pretty straight forward 4 piece delivery but you will also notice solo guitar, harmonies, low end beats, sonic vocals, exotic sound effects and enticing melodies. These guys showcases average singing and songwriting skills throughout. The signing and guitar work are pretty solid across the board. During my initial research I discovered this band is quite the hot topic live. Playing live, TB unleashes its cosmic fury and induces the same in their audience. It’s hard, it’s heavy, it’s rock and roll, re-imagined and reinvigorated. From heartfelt “All For You” to grooving ‘Black Trick” to rocking “Wide Awake” and hypnotic “Round” to apocalyptic “My Dreaming” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Think About Me” the perfect finale statement for an EP of this caliber.
Though adequate I wish the mix had a more live feel to it. I can’t stand the snare drum tonality. It needs to more bass frequency and sound more dirty. Song for song this CD sounds a bit repetitive to me. I also wish there were more solo guitar segments throughout. All songs voer 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. Overall musicianship, songwriting abilities, singing abilities, X-Factor, mojo, chops, talent of all musicians involved in this production - average at best. The band has an extremely good visual though.
Tijuana Bullfight’s latest release is a compelling and consistent musical journey. Its strong suit is its amazing consistency and Top Level Engineering aspects (Mix, Master) and song for song musical flow. The Binikos/Atienza dream team gets high marks from me for his loud guitar and mesmerizing vocal touch. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want a loud, grunge, un-intellectual musical ambience to fill their sonic space recklessly. This format makes for a great extended play experience. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the journey takes you. I got inebriated in the process of listening to it and it only made it better. So if you’re looking for a loud, rocked-out musical experience with a hard rock/grunge ambience to fill your atmosphere then I highly recommend you take a listen to the latest CD from Tijuana Bullfight. right away called Southern California.