The Mendoza Line - 30 Year Low

30 Year Low, the blood-stained new mini-album from The Mendoza Line, is a living, breathing document of the break down of the marriage of band members Timothy Bracy and Shannon McArdle. Like Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks, of which he famously said “a lot of people tell me they enjoy that album. It’s hard for me to relate to that. I mean people enjoying that kind of pain”, the album captures a disintegrated relationship in the last moments before collapse. It will be released August 21 thru Glurp Records.

The disc opens with the gentle “Since I Came” - a song whose delicate frame barely hides its declaration of a new, confused independence. McArdle is seething on the bristling rocker “31 Candles”, and Bracy returns the favor on the fuzzed out “I Lost My Taste”. “Aspect Of An Old Maid” is a playful country-rock romp, as McArdle trades flirtatious (and somewhat comically chauvinistic) verses with Okkervil River’s Will Sheff. All 8 songs reflect the pain of a battered relationship, limping to its end, and going down for the count.

The Mendoza Line has always reminded me of The Replacements in spirit - intensely talented, wildly unpredictable, and always on the outside looking in. If this is the last we hear from them, as seems entirely plausible, it’s a fitting end. Weary and wounded, 30 Year Low captures a band writing and playing at its highest level ever above the line of mediocrity from which it is named. I think the press release says it best - “it’s a crowded, brutal, witty, authentic, vigorous mess of history and hurt feelings, a vivid and contradictory document of life at the edge of 30, and the death of love for two beaten down and tangled up souls”.

MP3 :: Since I Came
MP3 :: Thirty Year Low
MP3 :: Aspects Of An Old Maid (alt. take)
(from 30 Year Low.)

30 Year Low comes packaged with a collection of rarities and live takes called Final Reflections Of The Legendary Malcontent. At 18 songs, the set contains just about every b-side, compilation track, and cover one could hope for, including their brilliant version of Springsteen’s “Tougher Than The Rest”.

MP3 :: Tougher Than The Rest
MP3 :: Go Shopping

And here are some older songs for you to enjoy:

MP3 :: Catch A Collapsing Star
MP3 :: Mysterious In Black
(from Full Of Light And Full Of Fire. Buy here)

MP3 :: It’s A Long Line (But It Moves Quickly)
MP3 :: Metro Pictures
(from Fortune. Buy here)

MP3 :: A Damn Good Disguise
MP3 :: The Way Of The Weak
(from Lost In Revelry. Buy here)

1 comment:

Beth said...

Great post, thank you!