Released by: Mighty Music
Release Date: March 2nd, 2018
Line-up Marco Mendoza – Vocals, Bass
Soren Andersen – Guitars, backing vocals
Morten Hellborn – Drums
1. Viva La Rock
2. Sue Is On The Run
4. Sweetest Emotions
5. Chinatown (feat. Mike Tramp)
7. Love 2 U
9. Hey Baby
10. Let It Flow
Mr. Mendoza is a jolly decent sort of chap. When interviewing him and Doug Aldrich at Ramblin Man Fair in 2016, I hate to admit it, but I became rather star struck and for once in my life actually couldn’t speak for a second or two, a hand was placed on my shoulder and whisper in my ear said ‘Take a deep breath honey, you will be fine’ and I was … you couldn’t shut me up after that!
So to say I am a Dead Daisies fan is an understatement, so I was overjoyed to be asked by my fellow rockers at myglobalmind.com to review ‘Viva La Rock, Marco’s first album in 7 years!
Now, I have been very naughty and have done something I NEVER usually do, I have gone straight to a certain track on this album first…but which one? ‘Chinatown’ and it did not disappoint as it is a superb cover of one of my favorite Thin Lizzy tracks of all time! Just enough difference with the sensational harmonies (featuring the excellent Mike Tramp of White Lion fame) to make the remake worthwhile. The drumming at the end of this classic has been kept in keeping with the original to my relief and makes this, all in all, a FAB cover!
The actual correct opener (for those more patient than myself) is ‘Viva La Rock’ a great fast-paced intro to this album, a perfect celebration of rock n roll if ever I heard one. This track brings all the excitement that you feel bubbling up in your rock n roll tummy when making your way to see your favorite band in concert….a ballroom blitz of buzzy happiness!! Bring it on!!!
‘Sue Is on the Run’ …brings an Aerosmith touch to the intro and blends nicely into a dream of a classic rock track, one of my favorites… if not THE favorite… from the whole album. The perfect rock track in my view. Onward then to ‘Rocketman’ ….no not a cover of Elton John (thank goodness), but a stonking good ditty about a Mad Scientist gone wrong in Copenhagen! Worth listening to just for the subject matter!
‘Sweetest Emotion’ brings a great mix of funk guitar and a horn section to draw you in … fast and furious with a Mendoza twist…..just how I like it! The screaming lead guitar, funky bass and to the point brass sound, blends perfectly with the vocals…groovy baby! Whilst ‘Burned’ ….opens with a stonking, screaming intro from Marco and glides delightfully into a smooth and sensual stripper of a song with a hip-swinging chorus, nicely done and one for a late night whiskey swigging session in the early hours.
‘Love 2 U’….brings a bluesy backroom bar feel to this story of a young lad’s fantasy of meeting his dream girl. This leads us to the beautiful ‘Leah’ which is a sweet, soulful ballad …. Marco’s vocals and a real delight. As I’m not usually one for any sort of slow rock tune, finding them quite boring, to be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed this as it kept my interest due to the exceptional vocals and musicianship.
‘Hey Baby’ ….is a cover of one of the craziest rockers of our generation, the Cat Scratching ‘Ted Nugent’. Outstanding guitar and drums (which are truly extraordinary throughout the whole album) match the Nugent-esque vocals exactly …..NICE!
Finally ‘Let It Flow’ has the 80’s and 90’s feel of upbeat rock threading all the way through it, it is great to hear clear vocals on all of this album, it is so common to not hear lyrics properly and Mr. Mendoza has plainly made a conscious decision to allow the listener in easily.
Marco Mendoza thrills with a true celebration of his full regal rock heritage, and he gives a nice nod to his time when he played for Thin Lizzy and Ted Nugent. No political statements here thank goodness, just good time rock n roll exuding thrills and spills with a large, rich splash of happiness and joie de vivre! Viva La Rock is a testament to the larger than life Marco Mendoza and demonstrates his true love of life and ROCK!
Review by Francijn Suermondt
Score: 9 out of 10