Imagine if Television and Curtis Mayfield formed a band and tried to re-record Rubber Soul. That’s a tease of what you get with Love & Cannibalism (2016), the 11th studio release for 20-year Minneapolis-based veterans The Honeydogs. This record might be the band’s best, most rocking collection of songs in that long career. That says a great deal considering previous records like 10,000 Years, Here’s Luck, and Amygdala have been called masterpieces–the band comfortably exploring varied musical styles (psychedelia, experimental, jazz) while being true to their roots in American music.
Lead singer-songwriter Adam Levy released an introspective and emotionally honest solo record in late 2015 about his son’s death, the heavily acoustic Naubinway. It made many “Best of” international lists. Love & Cannibalism is a different animal, featuring Levy’s incisive lyrics & a band in top form, mixing Motown and Muscle Shoals soul with British rock. This guitar-heavy, horn-driven, pop-encrusted gem of a record cherry picks from the past but creates a totally unique offering with unexpected turns of phrases and musical detours.
Original member Trent Norton’s bass propels, sings and swings with slinky drummer Peter Anderson, while keyboard polymath Peter J Sands percolates and punctuates. New guitarist Ryan Paul Plewacki ups the ante with barbed wire-sharp figures throughout, meshing with Levy’s signature riffage. Matt Darling & Stephen Kung on horns create some Stax and Bitches Brew-worthy counter-punches. The record title refers to the notion that if we don’t start getting along, we will devour ourselves. Amen.
An artist-in-residence in existence.