Try as he might, Adam Levy just can’t do straightforward.
The Lennon-esque Honeydogs frontman does his best on Sunshine Committee to offer a sharp, concise E.P., but it just
isn’t in his DNA. Not that that’s a bad thing, not at all. On Sunshine Committee, Levy presents a bright
musical delivery, but like just about all of his recent outings (dating back to
2001’s Here’s Luck), there’s something
more lurking beneath the surface.
Musically, the E.P. is the band’s most polished pop effort
to date. The horns on the opening title track and the closer “Levers, Pulleys,
and Pumps” take some of the edge off the sharp hooks that characterize Levy’s
songwriting. But rest assured-the driving riffs and pounding drums return in “Balaclava” and “Stash,” no doubt the catchiest song on
But as is the case with Levy, nothing is quite as it seems. Like
a masterful mad-scientist, Levy mixes and interplays the searing riffs and
cascading chords with allegories of love, faith, dedication, and death. On
“Good Fight,” Levy does all of the above: “Exceptions to the rule are killing
me/ I can’t read your hieroglyphic story/ It’s an undefinable and love is
unreliable,” he sings, before hitting the song’s coda: “Keep fighting the good
If there is a flaw, it is Levy’s habit of trying to do too
much with his lyrics. “Fiber Optic Paramour” suffers from some overindulgence, though
he makes up for it with his bluntness in “Stash.” Overall, though, Levy and the
Honeydogs sure do pack a ton in this six-song E.P.
“Good Fight,” “Stash” ROB THORMEYER