Review of If They Knew This Was the End Album by The Mendoza Line

The Mendoza Line’s
The Mendoza Line’s ‘If They Knew This Was the End’ (Cooking Vinyl)

The Mendoza Line’s

If They Knew This Was the End

(Cooking Vinyl)

‘If they Knew This Was the End’ is an odd collection from from eighties indie, a re-release of the 1997 album which sees several bonus tracks being added. At the first listen I didn’t quite know what to make of this album’s mazy run through several genres, although the liner notes tell a story bringing light to some of the tracks. In keeping with a few tracks are eccentric but they do have a certain charm.

Music - The Mendoza Line’s ‘If They Knew This Was the End’ (Cooking Vinyl)
The album kicks off with a track like something straight out of a Don Henleyalbum. ‘I Behaved that Way’ is sublime, all breathy vocals and amelody something similar to those out of Laid-era James. Totally laid-back butalso misleading for the rest of the album. Track two, Comeback, is sped up andbouncier despite producer Jerry Kee’s questioning ‘are you reallysure you need to rush right through [it]?’ which contributes to the headychaos of its pop-cum-Oasis style. Whatever, its happy and sets the tone for mostof the rest of the album.

There are even bluesy tones that come through in the slower tracks such as ‘The Aragon and Trianon’ and bonus track ‘Jefferson’. In fact, ‘The Aragon and Trianon’ is a bluesy, forties jazzy stroll with a sumptuously simple arrangement of piano, guitar and muted percussion accompanied by an enchanting male-female duet. There’s so much melancholy yet it’s tempered by more hopeful notes finished off by a soulful trumpet that makes a great song. On ‘Jefferson’ bluesy, soul keyboards add warmth and a touch of the personal to it summing up what is more of a grower of an album.

However, like most good albums, the fact it’s a grower doesn’t matter until you find the songs ingrained in your brain and refusing to budge. I was surprised by how good this album is when I was expecting it not to be (particularly when I heard ‘I Behaved That Way’). It may have taken six years to re-release this album but it was well worth it.