Casa Mendoza - 'Self Titled' (Mascot Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Nev Brooks   
Friday, 24 September 2010 05:30

casaGlancing at the track list on this album, straight away you pull up three classic covers : Stevie Wonder's 'Living For The City', Dale Hawkins' 'Suzy Q' and Carole King's 'You Got A Friend', which immediately tells me that this album is a bit of a personal workout, playing music that they enjoy rather than to satisfy a record label. So, who's responsible? Marco Mendoza. So, who's Marco Mendoza?

Mendoza played in John Sykes' band, Blue Murder from 1991 until 1993. He is the current bassist for the reformed version of Thin Lizzy. Mendoza joined the band in 1996 then left in 2000. From 2000 to 2003 he toured with Ted Nugent. Mendoza returned to Thin Lizzy in 2005 replacing Randy Gregg and left again in 2007. He then toured with ex-Dokken guitarist George Lynch in his band Lynch Mob before rejoining Thin Lizzy once more in May 2010.


So what do we have musically? Besides, at times, a freeform jazz/funk rock workout something with a fair bit of soul - check out 'You', vocally but not with obvious slants. Check out the South African feel to the intro to 'Living For The City' or the Cuban influences in the middle section of the aforementioned 'You'. There's a bit of Bootsy Collins at times, especially prevalent on 'Circle Of Life', mixed in with a bit of Gil Scott Heron. By the time I got to track eight, 'Betty Joe', I'm dancing but then the album shifts. From then on it's down to soulful balladeering (wish they'd kept up the funk!) and the album drifts until the Latino burst of 'Tu'.

If funk and soul is for you, you'll enjoy this album. Not what I expected but a real ball from the left field. Stand out track has to be from the opening eight numbers - take your pick really!!!