I am not sure what is most beautiful about Los Mendozas. Is it the music or is it the stage show, or is it even the history of the band, which whilst being tragic shows the power of a family sticking together?
Formerly pro-wrestlers in their home country of Mexico their lives were torn apart when their manager trainer and father, Vincente Mendoza, was murdered by a rival tag team from Japan, The Japanese Tiger Masks. Like all good Catholics they quickly decided on the best course of action – VENGENCE*. But Japanese wrestling tag-teams are not stupid – they ran leaving Los Mendozas with but one option, follow them to England and finance their search for retribution the only other way they know how. Rock n Roll. A highly sophisticated brand of Rock n Roll influenced by the holy trinity of guitar gods – Satriani, Clapton, Gilmour.
So, with a segue as smooth as their voices, onto the music. Los Mendozas have a motto. ‘Subtlety, depth and musicianship’. Well it’s actually “con sutilez, profundidad y musicalidad“, but I have faith in the limited intellect of my readers so I thoughts I’d get a mate of mine to translate it for me. With every chord and solo, pulsing bass line and machine-precise drumbeat, Los Mendozas push the boundaries of progressive rock into directions that bands like Aphrodite’s Child, Caravan and Jethro Tull could have only dreamed of. And EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM is better looking than Ian Anderson. Especially in their rather fetching wrestling masks, and sexy trunks (stop it guys, I’ve got a fiancé). Their main regret is that the shape of the mouth used to speak fluent Spanish in a Mexican accent builds up certain muscles in the lips more than others. This has the little known side effect of making it impossible for Mexicans to become flautists, which is the main reason why you will never hear ‘Badinerie’ from ‘French Suite No.2’ by Johann Sebastian Bach played in a Mexican Concert Hall. And the only reason that they don’t open and close their sets respectively with their instrumental and vocal versions of Witches Promise, which is brilliant save the absence of said flute.
And finally their live show. I have literally never seen anything like it**. It all starts with their extensive management team deciding which arenas and small stadia should be chosen to host them. The venues agree immediately, tickets sell out within seconds and the team of lighting engineers begin on the latest extravaganza which is usually best compared to a ballet, with lights taking the role of dancers and the stories behind the songs brought to life visually for the audience.
As they take to the stage these 4 tee-totallers look like a cross between Hulk Hogan, Marco Antonio Barrera and 4 very good looking latino chaps. In trunks and wrestling masks. Perhaps the only disappointment is the tightness of the set, which means that it can sometimes sound like they are miming to their platinum-selling records. The musicianship is incredible.
Their two best songs are ‘Over The Ropes’ (“unos, dos, over the ropes, arrrrhhhhh, yeaaahhh, screech, yaaahhhhh, wrestlemania, screech, over the ropes, you go, over the ropes, you go, screech…”) and ‘Get In The Ring’ (‘get in the ring, get in the ring, get in the ring, get in the ring, arrrrhhhhh, yeaaahhh, screech, yaaahhhhh, get in the ring, get in the ring, get in the ring, get in the ring, join us, the revolution is here, arrrrhhhhh, yeaaahhh, screech, yaaahhhhh,). Maybe these are their only two songs. Either way they are everything you could wish for in songs. They are fast and you can understand some of the words. And the guitars are distorted.
Historical Note –
Aside from their father, tragedy hit the band in 2007 when one of their more famous groupies, Mexican porn star Haley Paige, was found dead. Rumours abounded at the time that she was secretly betrothed to Leo de Rey Mendoza. Police suspicions that her death may have been linked to her husband, the Porn Director Chico “Wanker” Wang, were never proven, and his death tragically followed not long after hers.
* Their spelling not mine.
** Well, actually, literally I’ve never seen it at all but that is beside the point. Call it poetic licence.