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[Off The Record]
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Billy Mahonie

Now that post-rock’s become as amorphous a genre as the many that came before it, bands like Billy Mahonie can throw the tag around their shoulders like a shawl or shrug it off and play merrily, angrily, powerfully, whatever. The four seasoned Brits, none named Mahonie, give their songs heady and sly post-rock-friendly titles like "Fishing with a Man for a Shark," "Dusseldorf," and "A Warning to the Curious," all of which hint at the band’s "We’re playin’ jazz but with rock instruments" attitude. And they do, coughing up spirited guitar freakouts that tug and tease at the workmanlike rhythms.

Howard Monk’s a bear of a drummer, laying into the skins as if he were perched atop a kit at Wembley and dictating the action with a naughty humor streak. He seems to enjoy testing his mates, pulling them into ruminative Tortoise-like excursions one minute, rockin’ righteously the next. The other guys gladly oblige, strumming at guitars, hammering out power chords, plucking out groovy bass lines. It’s all good fun, the players’ unmitigated devotion to the jams coming through loud and clear.


Issue Date: December 13 - 20, 2001

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