Over the past few weeks I’ve been neck deep in the catalog of the underrated and underappreciated band The Mendoza Line – a group that mastered the fine art of self-destruction as well as The Replacements or Marah or Big Star or any band that ever seemed predestined to crash and burn. Over their decade long run the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Georgia transplants evolved from noisy indie-rock to fine-tuned purveyors of intelligent and carefully crafted folk rock – all in the face of inter-band squabbling, relocations, marriages, divorces, record label issues, and lineup changes. Held together as long as possible by doomed lovers Timothy Bracy and Shannon McArdle, The Mendoza Line managed a handful of superb records, the best and most fully realized being 2002’s ramshackle, Dylan-via-Yo La Tengo classic Lost in Revelry. But it’s the record that preceded (and nearly matches) that one, 2000’s We’re All in This Alone, that I’ve had on repeat the past few weeks. Seemingly out of print and rather difficult to track down (unavailable thru go-to sources like iTunes or eMusic), We’re All in This Alone was the band’s third full length and first that really hinted at the disheveled genius of its star players (at the time Peter Hoffman and Margaret Maurice were as integral to the songwriting process as Bracy and McArdle). We’re All in This Alone is all frayed edges, warm fuzz, and blurred melodies that still dig deep.
MP3 :: Yoko’s In the Band
MP3 :: A Bigger City
MP3 :: Where You’ll Land
(from We’re All in This Alone. Bug Bar None Records for some sort of reissue)