The Mendoza Line's fifth offering, sees the country crooners return with a record...
Damian Jones 2002
Fortune, The Mendoza Line's fifth offering, sees the country crooners from Georgia return with a record filled with emotion. Joy, loss, pain and wit are all thrown effortlessly together to serve up an infectious album filled with intoxicating melodies.
Since their last record, the band have been scouring the earth's plains and a life on the road has clearly influenced their new record. This is particularly evident on the stomping melody "Before I Hit The Wall". The upbeat lyric: "I want a big car with a kicking stereo - one that can go anywhere I wanna go", encapsulates the euphoric feeling of running away without a care in the world. This catchy country number, filled with killer hooks, is arguably one of the album's finest tracks.
Equally as good is the heart wrenching "Let's Not Talk About It", a haunting, painful ballad lost in eerie chords and lifeless vocals.
"Fellow Travelers" (correct spelling), is tinged with the same sad country vibe. The woozy backing vocals: "Wash it away, wash it away", give the song a real bluesy edge.
But it's not all pain and misery. The album also contains a few detailed narratives; "It's A Long Line (But It Moves Quickly)" and a touch of wit; "An Architect's Eye".
Naturally Bracy, Hoffman and McArdle mix up the vocal duties throughout. But at times McArdle's voice becomes grating, particularly on the dull final track "Throw It In the Fire" and the forgettable "Faithful Brother (Scourge Of The Land)".
The same goes for the guys at times too. "Metro Pictures" dreary vocals fail to spark the imagination and doesn't match the more upbeat tracks like "Tiny Motions" and the witty "Road To Insolvency".
Still this doesn't put too many dents in what is on the whole a creditable fifth record. Fortune still sounds damn good compared to the identikit indie crooners kicking about at the moment.