The Mendoza Line’s Third Album Gets Expanded Reissue
Are you as sick of hearing that phony cuddly catchphrase “we’re all in this together” as we are? Especially since it becomes more and more clear every day that we are not, in any conceivable manner, in any of this bullshit together, in fact we are more fractured and divided than ever.
Then my cynical/realistic friend, you might be interested to know that in recognition of the 20th anniversary of its original release, We’re All In This Alone, the third album from onetime Athens, Georgia band The Mendoza Line, has been reissued in digital download form (out now) as well as a limited first-time-on-vinyl edition of 500 copies (shipping in October), which can be heard and procured through the group’s Bandcamp page. Tracked in various studios in Georgia, North Carolina and New Jersey, their first album for Hoboken label Bar/None was written and recorded in the midst of the combo’s relocation from Athens to New York City.
“Strictly speaking, it was a demented way to make a record, and that’s reflective in the final product,” observes Shannon McArdle, one of The Mendoza Line’s primary singers and songwriters. “It wasn’t like the present in which files are easily portable. We were literally dragging reel to reel tapes and ADATs and DAT tapes and cassettes from place to place, creating this kind of Frankenstein monster of an album. Songs are bleeding into one another, there is tape hiss and contrapuntal sound and just extraneous, leftover noise happening all over the place. I don’t imagine one could make an album like that today even if one wanted to, which one wouldn’t, because it was miserably difficult.”
“I think we were all very interested in something that would feel like a collage, and something that would be deliberately disorienting,” adds Mendoza Line singer and songwriter Tim Bracy. “We liked mixed-media art from the 20th century – people like Jean Dubuffet and Marcel Duchamp who had all of these ideas about the contours of high art and low art and the avant-garde. This was our way of exploring some of those ideas through the rock music prism.”
The re-release is appended with three studio outtakes once thought lost to history: McArdle’s “Race Yourself Home,” Bracy’s piano ballad “This Time Next Spring” and guitarist/singer/songwriter Peter Hoffman’s rocker “Waiting in the Wings.”