Album review

The Mendoza Line : Fortune
Cooking Vinyl

The Mendoza Line : FortuneAfter many twists, turns and detours, where are The Mendoza Line of 2004 currently heading? In true Twister style, they’ve got one toe on the Dylan circle, a left hand balanced on the path left by the early Rolling Stones, and a whole foot embedded in the country/folk genre, whilst still touching upon an original direction with their right hand.

The recently released Before I Hit The Wall epitomises the view from the Mendoza scaffold; its relaxed verse launching into an abrasive chorus that ventures in and out of the folk boundary, branded with weighty guitars and a backbeat from Sean Fogarty that will have even the most apathetic doubters jumping around the room.
    Shannon Mary McArdle wasn't part of the original line-up when the band formed in the mid '90s, yet she plays a crucial role in the Mendoza sound of today. Flat Feet And Western Style and Throw It In The Fire are just a couple of songs which see her at the vocal helm, and both contain a distinctly uplifting folk design that gives Fortune an affectionate perimeter.

There's a timeless element built into Fortune - the opening of Fellow Travelers, the tempo of An Architect's Eye, and the vocals on Metro Pictures all have a distinct Velvet Underground influence to them; with a calming narrative that reassures the listener that The Mendoza Line are on track, so sit back and loosen up.
    However, there’s not too much time to settle down and reminisce over the glory of the late '70s sound that The Mendoza Line so effortlessly recreate, as they soon bring a contemporary tinge to the recording with the heavy-handed delivery of Road To Insolvency and the insightful Let's Not Talk About It. On the furthest end of the palette is Tiny Motions, a forceful liberation of energy with some stirring solos from John Troutman, a song that identifies an atypical side to the band.

Undoubtedly one of the shiniest treasures waiting to be discovered in the record stores so far this year, the beautiful Fortune is currently on a high street near you, waiting to be discovered . . .

:: Paul Newbold

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