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Shelflife presents the debut album from The Treasures of Mexico entitled Holding Pattern on digital format on June 2. The Treasures of Mexico are new project from Mark Matthews and Bob Collins from the legendary UK band The Dentists.

A Brief History of The Treasures of Mexico

Following the untimely demise of indie legends The Dentists in the late 90's, Mark Matthews and Bob Collins, key contributors and founder members, have wandered lonely as clouds through a variety of side projects and contributions to worthy musical causes.

Both would seem incapable of not writing songs and every stream, every river of creative flow eventually finds its way to the musical sea. For Mark, this has been steady journey that culminates in this new release, Holding Pattern, effectively a solo effort but ably assisted by Mr Collins and the mesmeric , considered beats of Russ Baxter who incidentally, currently fills the drum stool for Secret Affair when he's not watching Chelsea.

It's hard to know where best to pick up the story, so let's start at the beginning. Following the usual unreasonable demands of a major label deal, The Dentists parted company with East West after two albums and Bob decided that he'd part company with the music business entirely, quitting the band on amicable terms to consider his musical future. The remaining Dentists continued for a time under the name Coax, releasing an album Fear of Standing Still through an American indie, but then gradually imploding themselves despite some line-up changes. After a very brief sojourn by all parties, the side projects then gathered steam, with Bob dabbling in a few things before joining the most solid Dentists-related project, Fortress Madonna, led by Dentists singer Mick Murphy but with a cast of thousands including Mark and Russ at various points. Fortress Madonna released an album before Mick took himself off to Moscow and then Johannesburg for a few years, making rehearsals, gigging and normal band life somewhat problematic. He now lives in Nairobi if you were wondering.

Mark and Russ meanwhile then began a more robust collaboration with David Read, from local heroes The Claim, and they began to write and record songs under various guises before eventually settling on the name Words Beginning With X. David had chipped in with Coax for a time and also appears briefly on the Fortress Madonna recordings – I think you're getting the idea now, it's one big musical family here in the north South East.

On we go, and Mark, Russ and Bob all fall back together in a short-ish by design project known as The Great Lines, the significance being that Mark switches from bass playing duties to a share of the guitar and lead vocals, in a 50/50, straight down the middle, creative deal with Bob. Andy Martin takes over the bass and The GL's play a few shows and spend a while recording some quality songs (still unreleased) but it's clear that the diplomatic 50/50 contributory arrangement is never going to be enough for either of the main protagonists.

Full to bursting with new songs, Mark enlists the bass playing services of Andy to form The Echo Heights, guitar firmly in hand, who tour and record an album Your Fortune As Told By The Stars before Andy leaves and everyone falls out with everyone else over girls and football. However, Mark has now completed a project with sole control over the song-writing duties and has more to give, so the call goes out once again to Bob and Russ to form The Treasures of Mexico, and breathe life into the batch of Marks songs you will hear on this new album. In perfect synergy, Bob does the same and the world should prepare itself for an album from Bob Collins and the Full Nelson coming out on Jigsaw Records with Bob working once again with Rob Grigg from the final Dentists line up.

Is that everything? Not really, this is the brief version, do pay attention. Mark has picked up the bass again and is back with Russ in a reformed Words Beginning With X, while Bob has ongoing guitar duties with Stuart Turner and The Flat Earth Society. The follow up to Holding Pattern is well underway too.

Confused? You will be but what you need to take from this somewhat rambling tale and its cast of thousands is that sometimes it's not about the journey. It's just about what comes out of those speakers, and into your lives, no matter how it got there and you can always get by with more than a little help from your friends. Sounds like a great idea for a song there...

For fans of: The Dentists, The Ocean Blue, The Bats, The Feelies, Teenage Fanclub

The Treasures of Mexico
Holding Pattern

Release date: June 2, 2015
Catalogue number: LIFE122
Pressing: digital
Artwork by: Matthew Edwards

1. Dependence Day
2. Holding Pattern
3. Optimism
4. Stars
5. Moment of Clarity
6. Let's Start At The Beginning
7. Can't Do It All Alone
8. We Don't Have Any Time For This
9. You're So Special
10. Take Back What Is Mine
11. The Trick
12. Tiny Lies
13. Falling Over
Cover art hi-res