Pills 'N' Thrills and Bellyaches

Recently perched at the top of both the independent and mainstream British charts, Happy Mondays are the most fashionable group in England. Their greasy hair, baggy clothes, fondness for drugs, scrapes with the law, and mildly repetitious dance rock have earned them a reputation as ”the new Rolling Stones.” Partly as a result, their hometown of Manchester has replaced London as the hub of Britain’s style scene and spawned a spate of copycat groups who try to mimic the Mondays’ late-’60s-early-’70s revivalism. The only problem is that the Mondays’ sound — a bedrock of percolating congas overlaid with bouncy keyboards, nondescript vocals, innocuous acoustic, and semi-grungy electric guitar — isn’t as compelling as that of their imitators, among them bands such as Charlatans UK. The Mondays’ third album, Pills ‘N’ Thrills and Bellyaches, is suspiciously short on thrills, and while ”Step On” and ”Donovan” (an apparent homage to the ’60s singing flower child) show some promise, they’re hardly strong enough to be compared with the Rolling Stones. C+

Pills 'N' Thrills and Bellyaches
  • Music