Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Mendoza Line -- Thirty Year Low/Final Remarks of the Legendary Malcontent

I've been spending more time with The Mendoza Line's Thirty Year Low/Final Reflections of the Legendary Malcontent, the band's upcoming 2-CD swan song. The more I listen, the more I like what I hear. The only bad news (other than the obvious marital crash and burn that is well documented here) is Timothy Bracy's Dylan impression that occasionally borders on parody. But he's a fine writer, and the manic guitars cover the multitude of drawn out, nasal vowels.

And Shannon McCardle? Wow. If Bracy tends to cushion his sorrows in poetic ways, McCardle goes straight for the jugular, snarking about the picture of the kitty on her rival's sweater, and offering sweet little vignettes like this:

Come on over honey
Grab your pens and get your shit
She's drawin' blueprints, layin' marble,
Built a shrine around your dick

Hell hath no fury. McCardle's songs are white hot, furious, and absolutely great. I hate divorce. I don't wish it on anyone. At the same time, I'm thankful for the superb art that sometimes emerges from the crucible of pain. This is bitterness and recrimination set to a backbeat, and in its voyeuristic way it's brilliant. My sympathies to Timothy and Shannon. My thanks for creating such a wonderful album.


eKlinger said...

Looking forward to hearing this new Mendoza Line. I heard an earlier release of theirs (Lost in Revelry), where Shannon McArdle had some similarly vitriolic words. At the time I figured it was just some character-based songwriting, but it sounds like this was quite the tempestuous relationship.

This was a very good group, and I hope they find success (and happiness) with whatever comes next.

Anyway, I'm greatly enjoying your writings on both music and faith. Keep up the excellent work.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Seems to me that most of my favorite songs are fired in the crucible of pain. Sometimes I wonder if any of the songwriters I like most are happy at all. Go Shannon. I hope she can work it out in more songs.