The Mendoza Line - Fortune

Alex Worsnip 26/05/2004

Rating: 3/5

Inspired by the singer-songwriter tradition, alt-country, and 70s blues-rock, the Mendoza Line play a fairly eclectic, catchy pop cocktail. Single 'Before I Hit The Wall' is a Dandy Warhols-esque romp bouncing with optimism, while 'It's A Long Line (But It Moves Quickly)' is mid-period, tuneful Stones being fronted by a sultry, female vocalist, featuring some wry, narrative lyrics: "there's a chill in the heiress/she did you in Paris/but that doesn't mean you'll get anything here. From the Ryan Adams-influenced 'Fellow Travellers' to the Lou Reed-esque 'An Architect's Eye' to the almost traditional country of 'Will You Be Here Tomorrow' the album maintains a keen ear for melody.

Occasionally the rocky guitars and pumping organ or driving piano create a slightly dated sound, but most of the time it's retro in a good way. The use of two vocalists adds yet more variation. The gorgeous, Bright Eyes-esque strum of 'Let's Not Talk About It' is a clear standout. Its undeniable that the album is rather derivative, and the supposed "concept" of emigration and immigration trumpeted by the press release is somewhat lost on me, but this is a worthwhile release with plenty of good moments, buoyed by the production of good tunes time after time.