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