Dustin Welch may indeed find some inspiration within the boozy poetry of Tom Waits (his outsized growl can sometimes recall Waits' gravel) or Nick Cave's darkly romanticized notions of America, but Welch hails from Austin, Texas, so he grounds his narratives in an earthy blend of rock, folk, blues, and country on Tijuana Bible, his second album. Sometimes, he works so hard on either atmosphere or evocative words that it's easy to overlook how he has a bit of a knack for propulsive, straight-ahead rock; "Across the Rubicon" and "Goodbye" have a natural melodic force that, in other hands, could be crossover hits. But Welch is too restless a musician to concern himself with ironing out his wrinkles. He prefers to indulge in ramshackle blues, ragged tangos, plucked banjos, and drunken singalongs, loving all the loose ends and dirty noise he makes, and this wild, careening spirit is the reason to listen to Tijuana Bible.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine