Tijuana Bibles
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Tijuana Bibles


Band Rock Punk


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Choose Your Masque (Bibles VS Los Straitjackets)"

For instant mystery and melodrama, nothing beats a Mexican wrestling mask. Since like gravitates to like, it's not surprising that some rock musicians would see a highly transferable asset in the skin-tight facial icons worn by the stars of Lucha Libre.

What is a little surprising is that two bands of musicians who have taken to the mask would consent to appear on the same bill. A gimmick shared tends to be a gimmick less effective.

Of course, much depends on how completely you enter the narrative your gimmick sets up. Like El Vez, the Mexican-American Elvis who usually shows up at the Horseshoe at this Yule-ridden time of year, the Tijuana Bibles wear the implications of their get-up closer than a second skin.

It was no problem for this Toronto sextet to open for Los Straitjackets, a more prominent masked quartet from the United States. The Bibles simply treated the occasion as a bout, between wrestlers whose style was so similar as to imply that the only logical outcome would be the most traumatic drama known to Mexican wrestling: the unmasking of the losers.

The Bibles play a primal kind of guitar-based rockabilly. Many of their tunes are little more than sinister, heavily reinforced bass lines, played fast, with intermittent blasts of trumpet and sax.

Their songs have pulpy titles such as Wheelchair Werewolf and Tokyo Topless.

Their short set was a live animation, with music, of many major vestiges of vintage pulp culture, including horror B-movies, Weegee crime shoots, and pin-up bondage photos shot in grubby motel rooms. All this came spilling out together, as wild and innocent as a dodg'em-car pileup.

After this invigorating smack-down, how could Los Straitjackets pin the Bibles to the mat? The question went unanswered, because the Yanks quickly made it clear that they had no intention of acknowledging the challenge. They took the stage in masks and loose-fitting turtlenecks (!) and began dispensing their dark, serial-pattern rock with calm precision.

After a half-dozen numbers, each introduced in a gabble of gringo Spanish, they appeared to be very capable studio players who had chanced on a gimmick that was just good enough to give them a club career.

If the Bibles were a band that exuded narrative from every pore, Los Straitjackets seemed to have no narrative at all. Their set showed none of the insanity their name implies. Maybe it's a play on words; a band of straight-men, playing their one joke into the ground.

This surpassingly dull set was rescued by the World Famous Pontani Sisters, a trio of neo-burlesque dancers who came on periodically with a display of classic moves and inventive costuming. They wore mistletoe bikinis, hats like Carmen Miranda (made with Christmas tree baubles instead of fruit), and 1,000-watt perma-smiles.

They showed off their tattoos, had a snowball fight, and riffed winningly on poses that were old when women of their grandmothers' generation struck them on calendars and playing cards. Los Straitjackets strummed along with their versions of commercial Christmas songs, which to my ears have never sounded so hollow.
- Globe & Mail

"Novelty Kick (Bibles VS Southern Culture On The Skids)"

Ever seen those old hanna-bar-bera cartoons from the 60s where they'd recycle frames to save cash? There'd be an episode of the Jetsons, say, in which Judy checked out some hip joint where a groovy band was playing. To establish the swingin' mood, the animators would show the same sequence three times of mod teenagers doing the frug and the wwim, intercut with MTV-worthy views of the dreamboats onstage, all set to shagadelic tunes.That pretty much describes the scene at the Horseshoe Saturday night during the Tijuana Bibles' spectacular set. Everywhere I turned, I saw the same tipsy hipsters hoppin' and boppin' to the local superheroes' stoneresque surf numbers with garage snarl.

Frontman The Crippler was in fine form, suited up in a Thundercats mask and red satin robe. He was supported by sexy sax babe La Felina Negra (also in a cutesy cat mask), "European wrestling champ" the Blue Demon, Captain America look-alike Sonny Boy Liston and drummer Buddy Lee Roth, a military nightmare in his pith-helmet-gas-mask combo. The Crippler led his merry band through an entertaining set, highlighted by the one-two monkey punch of the go-goish Gorilla Stomp followed by The Chimp Twist and an awesome, bleached-out cover of Blondie's Atomic.

By the time rockabilly goofs Southern Culture on the Skids took the stage around midnight, the entire joint smelled like soul food. Blame the giant bucket of KFC they brought onstage and served up to some finger-lickin' ladies from the crowd who flailed around with the band in classic Hanna-Barbera fashion.

Singer-bassist Mary Huff, sporting a sassy cotton-candy-pink beehive wig, belted hillbilly foot-stompers and country blues tunes through a reverb-heavy mike, like Debbie Harry brought up on a solid diet of Hee-Haw. She harmonized prettily with guitarist Rick Miller's raspy world-weary growl.

They're a great live band, and their sound makes the most of echoing bass, effects-heavy wavering guitars, saloon pianos and psychedelic organs.

But, like the Squirrel Nut Zippers, there's a little too much novelty in their retro novelty act. Sure, their tunes are great -- country-fried frat-friendly hillbilly blues songs soaked in surf -- and they can sure put on a fun show. But in the end you get the sense that it's more about the concept than the music. I wish they'd learn to embrace the full potential of their cartoonish selves. Hell, it works for the Tijuana Bibles.
- Now Magazine

"Fists Of Fury cd review II"

Toronto's own masked marauders of sleazy wrestle-rock foolery have shrewdly collected their tiptop 12 floor fillers – Deadly Weapons, Wheelchair Werewolf, Mexican Courage, Tokyo Topless, etc – on one party-starting disc certain to inspire spontaneous clothes removal and/or drunken brawling. There are only 500 numbered copies of the swankly hand-screened edition of Fists Of Fury, so grab it before local peelers buy 'em all up for their cage-dancing routines. (NNN) - Now Magazine

"Bible Thumpers - Tijuana Bibles' Brutal Wrestle-Rock Death Grip"

I'm standing in an old ware-house way out in west-end buttfuck nowhere. Bluish smoke casts a ghoulish haze over the cavernous space, and wacky circus-freak posters dangle precariously from the miles-high ceiling. There's a giant wrestling ring in the centre of the room, and dungeonesque paraphernalia. It's a creepy, sadistic carny nightmare. It's business as usual for the cartoonish Mexican-wrestling-mask-sporting surf-garage superheroes in local rock spectacle outfit the Tijuana Bibles.

Well, not quite. The costume-clad quintet have invited me to this remote carny hell because they're turning in a guest appearance on the set of a hilarious B-movie that centres around a garish zombie beach party. (The plot's something about drinking water tainted with zombie blood.)

It's the first feature film by local Super-8 wunderkind Stacey Case, the man who helped found the Bibles back in 1998 to provide campy soundtracks for his infamous Parkdale Wrestler flicks. As the story goes, the Bibles and Case had a falling out when the wannabe Svengali tried to assert too much creative control over the group.

So, superheroes, what's the deal with lending a hand on this new film?

"We saw the cash offer, stopped working for free and got the dough," growls Super Destroyer, the cane-toting so-called oldest drummer in the world (who bears a striking resemblance to the mysterious Mr. Case). "Case learned his lesson. The Crippler did put the Instantaneous Death Touch on him, but it didn't quite take. Some time in the hospital did him good, and he had to rethink his strategy. And we're getting a lot out of it, too. Like copious amounts of booze."

"We'll basically put up with just about anything if you give us enough money," chimes in Blue Demon, the small, snazzy-suited bassist.

Shooting the shit with the Tijuana Bibles is decidedly surreal. Drawing inspiration from the outlandish antics of traditional Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling (hence the masks), the Bibles -- along with Super Destroyer and the Blue Demon, there's sultry cat-masked multi-instrumentalist La Felina Negra, frontman the Crippler and guitarist Sonny-Boy Liston -- whip crowds into a frenzy with their over-the-top personae and bizarre stunts. Shows, like the one at Lee's tomorrow (Friday, December 20), can include big dudes in gorilla suits and sexy burlesque babes.

Their musical chops are dead on, all go-go dancing rave-ups and snaky, shimmery surfscapes.

And there's method in their madness. Ask 'em about their impressive popularity in Europe, and the Crippler looks thoughtful.

"They're just not as inundated with trends and advertising over there. Here, everything blew up -- surf rock, garage rock -- and then there was a big backlash against it. There, it just hung on. I don't think the backlash really came.

"Especially somewhere like Toronto we're all "That's so last week.'"

These cats are primed to rumble. They don't just dress like wrestlers -- they're well-versed on life in the ring.

"There's a unity between rock and wrestling," offers the Crippler. "It's the show element, the glamour and the concept of walking into the ring or hitting the stage with a beaming confidence. There's more of an excuse to dress up and develop a persona."

Adds Super Destroyer, "When people watch wrestling, they'll wait patiently during the fights and all of a sudden something amazing happens -- an amazing hold or an amazing flying body press executed perfectly or a five-star frog press or something, and you can see everybody's got the juice.

"With a lot of music now, it's just straight-ahead technical prowess. You don't really get the "Holy fuck! That was cool!' factor. But with our band, you get that. I'll set my cane on fire, and nobody ever knows what the fuck Sonny's doing. We come out swingin' right outta the gate, rock 'em sock 'em the whole way. Kick their heads right off and get the fuck outta Dodge!"
- Now Magazine

"Apartment Wrestling cd review"

Ay, ay, ay! Over Mexicali way, in a seedy, steenkeeng basement (in the kind of border town that Orson Welles loves), someone is making some kind of raunchy rock and roll. You can feel the tequila and tabasco-taco sweat drip down the small of your back within minutes. The TBs have a great mixture of surf rock that brings back the great and legendary Deja Voodoo and Shadowy Men - minimalist and utterly ridiculous yet always good for another listen. "Intelligent and Sensational," like it says on the CD case? You bet. Any band that soaks as much distortion and reverb with female backing vocals, by "the Bible-ettes," on a song called "Gorilla Stomp," has to be able to put the ordinary in perspective. There is a furious and truly weird mentality at work here, complete with wrestling matches and gorilla suits. Refreshing as a pitcher of Corona and as hallucinogenic as a bowl of North Mexico backwoods chilli, the Bibles will set you on fire and punch you out. - Exclaim!

"Fists Of Fury cd review"

Toronto's "Cadillac of Masked Bands" returns from European conquests with a new dose of outlandish surf-punk (complete with snazzy, silkscreened packaging). Producer John Critchley raises the Bibles' bar immeasurably, translating the band's horn-laden party machine aptly onto disc. Peter Gunn-esque instrumentals like "Deadly Weapons" and the exotic "Tokyo Topless" are engaging in their own right. But vocal tracks (c/o The Crippler) like "Cage of Love" and "We're Gonna Tangle" will make any skeptic put on a gorilla suit and grapple babes in Mexican wrestling masks. One question: when did drummer Super-Destroyer become The Super Destructor? Must have been a legal issue. (4 stars) - eye Weekly


Tijuana Bibles - debut 7" vinyl
Apartment Wrestling - full length cd
Custom Made - 10" vinyl and full length cd
Fiesta Siesta - 7" vinyl
Fists Of Fury - full length cd
Tijuana Bibles/Lost Acapulco split 7" vinyl


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Tijuana Bibles - five masked members ridin' a rock n roll Pain Train, settin' you up to knock you OUT! Four European tours...three full length cds...a 10 inch...two seven inches...soundtrack music for The Naked News, short films, feature films and mexican wrestling porno films! This is Party Rock of the highest order! The Champagne Of Lucha Libre Rock & Roll! The Cadillac Of Masked Bands! The World's Toughest Surf Band! 'Nuff said!