Tijuana Cartel’s influences are so broad that a new album release that digs deep into the Australian counter-culture was bound to happen sooner or later. It’s called ‘Psychedelicatessen’. You might say the album’s been in the making for roughly forty years.
The seed for ‘Psychedelicatessen’ was planted way back in ’78 when Double J broadcast a psychedelic road trip from Brisbane to Sydney called ‘What’s Rangoon to you is Grafton to me’. What was then a ‘quintessentially Australian gonzo rant’ is now a cult classic radio play that intrigued TC’s singer/songwriter/guitarist, Paul George, for years. ‘Psychedelicatessen’ is Tijuana Cartel’s tribute to the play and to its author, Russell Guy.
“I was strangely nervous about approaching Russell to ask him to use his material,” says Paul. “He was this edgy, gonzo hippie from my adolescent imagination so I didn’t know quite what to expect or what approach to take.” He needn’t have stressed over it too much. ‘Psychedelicatessen’ does it for Russell Guy who still lays on the gonzo rant: “Songs like Kelly’s Existential Dilemma, Leaving London, Lost My Head, Spend Your Money and Black Magic Superstar chart a course to a place we’ve yet to imagine,” says the author. “This new album pings on cruise control as it translates, engages and navigates the worldwide plague of earthquakes, terrorism, crime, corruption, scoffers, mockers, volcanic eruptions and psycho-babble, while segueing into a groove that the Gobble-up Machine can’t follow.”
“It’s a new direction for Carey (Sullivan) and me,” says Paul, “but our audience knows us pretty well by now and they’re used to sudden changes of direction. It keeps us fresh and keeps the music fresh, too.
“It’s heavy on vocals which is unusual for us. It very nearly didn’t happen at all – it’s been bubbling away in the background for a couple of years, sometimes inspiring us and sometimes seeming just too hard.”
Says Carey: “We set out to make every Tijuana Cartel album completely different from the last, we like to take in new inspirations and push ourselves as songwriters and producers. It’s just how we’ve always done it.”
The last word goes to Russell Guy and his play ‘What’s Rangoon to you is Grafton to me.
Where was I and when was it? Where have all the dingos gone? One-Adam-Twelve, We have an herbal freak in progress.I drove off the page and never saw myself again.
Pyschedelicatessen is available now.Sydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.