Song Premiere: Tijuana Hercules, “ShaTooBog”

SKiN GRAFT Records has announced the next Tijuana Hercules album this week. Mudslod and the Singles – out May 7th, 2021 – is years in the making and featuring the talents of more than 20 musicians.

Tijuana Hercules’s new Mudslod and the Singles finds the band deep-diving into its patented “hillbilly trance” sound: an oxygen-depriving bouillabaisse of boundary-busting blues, spaghetti-strung grooves, and tangled psychedelic roots music.

Hailing from the southern regions of the U.S., John Vernon Forbes has a long and storied history of making music, cartoons, and comical mischief. His illustrations recall the golden age of animation filtered through an absurdest lens – and this love of days gone by is rendered
with a futurist’s ear in the blues-tinged music he’s been creating for decades.

In Atlanta, John played in Phantom 309 (with Mac McNeilly, future drummer of The Jesus Lizard) and Dirt, before settling in Chicago where he formed Mount Shasta, one of the founding SKiN GRAFT Records acts. Mount Shasta went on to release three albums and a collaborative LP with Japan’s Space Streakings before disbanding.

Forbes then formed Tijuana Hercules, initially taking inspiration from obscure rock, blues, and gospel songs from the ’50s and ’60s. The band later gamma-radiated those threads into something altogether different in the labs of Forbes’s own Frogg Mountain Recording Studio, located squarely within Chicago’s historic meat-packing district.

“When I started working on this record, I knew that I was on the path I had chosen,” says Forbes.” I could afford myself the pleasure of dicking around in the weeds and bypass the middleman. I was hellbent on making a synthesis of the last 140 years that are my proclivities. See, there was a certain sound that I was hearing in my head. It was like an end-of-life event in which everything is moving by you in rapid fire. I’m trying to chase it down. I’d roughly estimate that in 30 or 40 years, I’ll have evolved to the point where I will have it mastered. I’m looking for a quantum mechanics application in which I could tap into a universe where Lalo Schifrin wrote music scores for John Phillip Sousa or Sun Ra Arkestra did an album of Joe South cover tunes.”

Alongside last year’s SKiN GRAFT debut Evening Dressings, the band’s latest releases are a pair of collections that highlight their diversity: Bloodshot Records’ Six Pack to Go 7” singles compilation (with Deer Tick, Elizabeth Cook, Kelly Hogan and Guided By Voices’ Robert Pollard) and SKiN GRAFT’s Chicago vs New York compilation (featuring The Flying Luttenbachers, Bobby Conn, Cheer-Accident and Child Abuse).

Mudslod will be available digitally and as a vinyl LP and Glass-Mastered Compact Disc. The SKiN GRAFT shop exclusive Ultimate Edition includes a Chalk WHITE Vinyl LP, a Foot-Long Full-Color OBI, the Glass-Mastered CD in six-panel Gatefold Jacket, an extended version of “Delta Alien” and a Digital Download. All formats include “Map of The Stars” cartoons dutifully delineated in duotone by the band’s John Forbes and laid out by Touch and Go Records’ design department alumnus David Babbitt.

They are also offering a number of one-of-a-kind Ultimate Edition bundles that come complete with your choice of original art as found on the Mudslod and the Singles album cover! The artwork measures 9″ x 12″ and was illustrated & signed by John Vernon Forbes. They make for a “be-all, end-all” LP insert and are certainly suitable for hanging in your sorority house, fire department sleeping quarters or dungeon.

They are are taking orders now at our Bandcamp page.

Today, Ghettoblaster offers a peak behind the curtain at the album’s very first track, “Atmospher,” as well as “ShaTooBog.”