MENDOZAZ, THE: Up and At Them: CD

I kind of love it when my preconceptions of what a band is going to sound like based on the cover art, song titles, et cetera is completely blown out of the water. This new album by Toronto’s The Mendozaz is a prime example. The cover screams “horror-punk” to me, with its angry skeleton wearing a toque climbing out of a grave. What we get is some pretty damn well crafted pop punk. I find that the vocalist sounds a bit like John K. Samson of The Weakerthans at times, and it kind of throws me for a loop here and there. Like most pop punk stuff these days, I like it but there isn’t anything that’s really grabbing me by the ear and screaming “YOU NEED TO LISTEN!” If it came on in the rotation, I would probably look to see who it was, and go on with my day. If you live and die by pop punk, you should definitely have this in your collection. –Ty Stranglehold (Cartridge Heart, cartridgeheart.com)