The Mahones Here Comes Lucky

More punk than Great Big Sea, but less charming than the Pogues, Kingston, ON, quartet the Mahones have barrelled along for over ten years. On Here Comes Lucky, their latest studio effort, they recruited the similarly well-travelled Ron Macey (of the Skydiggers) to co-produce. While the band's spirited performances, complete with plenty of "woohoos" and "yeahs," are effectively captured on tape, the combination of one-dimensional songwriting with predictable arrangements results in an often monotonous dose of Celtic rock. All this despite tasteful contributions from multi-instrumentalist Andrew Brown, whose textures on accordion, tin-whistle and organ provide a welcome contrast to the brash rhythm section. Mary Margaret O'Hara delivers an uncharacteristically reserved performance, singing back up on the charmingly simple "Will You Marry Me?" and Big Wreck's Ian Thornly wails away on guitar behind "Raise Your Hands." Make no mistake, the Mahones know how to write catchy songs with a sense of immediacy. Their fun loving, sing-along style will undoubtedly secure them rights to continue providing the unofficial Canadian soundtrack to St. Patrick's Day. (True North)