More of everything: more gut-rot feedback, more instrumental colour, even a few ideas of their own.

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Billy Mahonie : What Comes Before

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Billy Mahonie : What Comes Before

Even for avid Brit post-rock watchers, Billy Mahonie were always the

bridesmaids of the scene. Their near-psychic sense of timing and

palpable desire to rock out – all nice, but basically scaled-down versions

of things we already had. So what’s changed on their second LP proper? Now

there’s just more of everything: more gut-rot feedback, more instrumental

colour, even a few ideas of their own.

In days past, the instantaneous switch from jazz pleasantries to gnarly

riffage – as in opener ‘Fishing With A Man For A Shark’ – merely represented two

different ways of showing off. This time, the dynamics are on lockdown and

Billy Mahonie hurl offcuts of dub and folk (check the great ‘False Calm’)

into the mix. They sound less like a band who’d sell their nieces to slavery

in exchange for a Steve Albini thumbs-up; more like four men ploughing their

own furrow, because they [I]can[/I].

‘What Comes Before’ exists in an insular world, and doesn’t signify a new

dawn of anything much. But it showcases a band who can out-metal Bizkits

within seconds, and cook up rhythms as complex and funksome as The Neptunes.

Which is pretty fucking relevant, isn’t it?

Noel Gardner