Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Marco Mendoza – New Direction

The name Marco Mendoza should be familiar to anyone who’s been a rock fan over the past few decades. He’s a solid bassman whose skills have been utilised by many of the great and the good of classic rock, and his resume includes stints with Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Dead Daisies, John Sykes and Ted Nugent, plus his recent spell in Journey. He’s played heavy metal, rock, funk and even jazz fusion, so he knows his way around the block.

Mendoza has also been a solo act for quite some time, and New Direction is his fourth solo album, following on from 2018’s Viva La Rock. Why New Direction? “For us recording and touring musicians, it’s a new day and a new beginning after the last few years, so it’s time to start thinking about a new direction.” I’m unclear what this means because, as he himself states, “there’s no progression after Viva La Rock, I didn’t have any direction other than to write some good songs.”

There’s a Whitesnake vibe on ‘Light It Up’, he rocks it up a bit on ‘Take It To The Limit’ (no, not the Eagles song) and ‘All That I’m Living For’ has a bite to it. But for a guy who’s played with some of the top classic rock acts, they’re a number of songs on the album which belie this fact. The slow ‘Can’t Explain It’ is very MOR, as is ‘Walk Next To You’, a slow love song where Marco reveals his sensitive side. But it’s really only the superb guitar work of Soren Anderson, who also produced the album, which redeems tracks like ‘Scream And Shout’ and ‘Free Ride’. Only on title track ‘New Direction’ does Marco really let it rip.

There’s nothing new at all on this album, it’s very basic stuff and all well performed, which will no doubt go down well in a ‘live’ setting, but for someone with a pedigree as extensive as his, you’d be forgiven for expecting something a little more than this.

Laurence Todd
Laurence Todd
Took early retirement after many years as a teacher in order to write books as well as about music. A long-time music obsessive, has wide and eclectic tastes but particularly likes prog rock and rock in general. Enjoys going to gigs and discovering new acts.

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The name Marco Mendoza should be familiar to anyone who’s been a rock fan over the past few decades. He’s a solid bassman whose skills have been utilised by many of the great and the good of classic rock, and his resume includes stints...Marco Mendoza - New Direction