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.