This best of the Mahones release covers their most beloved songs from their 1994 Celtic rock debut Draggin' the Days through their 2001 roots rocker Here Comes Lucky. It quite clearly chronicles their gradual shift away from Pogues-clones and toward Tom Petty-like heartland rockers. While those may be the two most obvious influences at their respective stages in development, the Mahones have still carved their own unique style and etched their name firmly into the Canadian musical landscape. Song's like "Across the USA," "Draggin' the Days," and "Drunken Lazy Bastard," are reflective of their raucous yet infectious style that has endeared them, not only to their Canadian brethren, but also to those in the know in both Europe and the United States. The 17 tracks on Paint the Town Red are a suitable and accurate introduction to this band, but the real key to this release is the bonus live CD entitled Live at the Horseshoe. It was recorded in September of 2000, prior to the release of Here Comes Lucky. An energetic date, it concentrates more on the Irish folk-punk style that first attracted attention to this band. Yes, several selections from the live CD are also included on the "best of" disc; however, the comparison and contrast between the studio and stage is noteworthy and deserving of a nearly two hour listen.
AllMusic Review by Dave Sleger