Tijuana Cartel : M1

The original Tijuana Cartel is a Mexican drug operation which has kept a tight grip on the South American underworld since the late '80s. This Tijuana Cartel has been spreading musical narcotics from the Gold Coast since their well-received 2009 debut They Come. With its exotic sensuality,

empest perfectly encapsulates both the band and new album M1. The airy British-flavoured vocals of Paul George gracefully glide over a warbly dubstep-style drum pattern as flamenco guitar and trumpet weave in and out. The band has a unique cultural make-up with Aussie, Irish and Latin among the mix. For the People further basks in the flamenco madness. Verbal Masturbation ends up being a little too self-explanatory as George churns out some forgettable half-spoken rhymes. It's saved by a wacky Latin breakdown halfway through. The cohesion and skills of each band member is pretty damn tight throughout. Tijuana Cartel's trumpet player gets his own instrumental showcase, on Mr Joshua Sinclair. Never Grow Old and Anxious Sin are perfectly listenable as mainstream dance-pop confectionary but could have been performed by any faceless outfit. Like their contraband-dealing namesake the band need a perfect balance. If the group can find more organic way to combine their cultural roots with dance music, without going into overkill or dumbing it down, they will be on to a winning formula.




Best Track: Tempest


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In A Word: Promising

M1 is out now independently.