What Becomes Before
Billy Mahonie, who take their name from a character in the Kiefer Sutherland film Flatliners, are a very, very good band. I was so pleasantly surprised by What Becomes Before that I actually listened to it for an entire six-hour stint on the computer last week. HOT DOG!
The sound of Billy Mahonie is warm and rockin'. Imagine taking the jangly pop feel of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet and crossing it with the maturity and depth of Karate's first record. The comparisons to Karate are inevitable when listening to B.M., but they have such a unique delivery of their rock that NO ONE could accuse Billy Mahonie of plagarism.
Another strange comparison which kept coming back to me was Billy Mahonie and Radiohead's "Knives Out." Remove the words from "Knives Out" and put it in the middle of What Comes Before and the flow of the record would remain unaltered (What Comes Before is an instrumental record).
The guitars here are crisp, warm, beautiful, and inviting, in a Johnny Marr kind of way. The bass guitar sound of this record is so completely perfect, it is almost inexpressable with words. Not quite flat, but not quite ringy, it's just awesome! The drums are quite jazzy and precise, somewhat buried in the mix. I know it's blasphemous to mention this band's name when talkin' indie shop, but I really hear some of Phish's more rocky stuff on this record (I truly apologize to anyone I've offended).
I don't really see how anyone couldn't like this record. It's perfect background music for getting work done; it's fast, uppity, and catchy as hell. Fans of Karate's early work HAVE to hear this!
Southern Records: http://www.southern.net
Daniel L. Mitchell