Album Review: The Honeydogs - What Comes After

by Barb Abney

Someone forgot to send The Honeydogs the memo. You know the one — it reads "a rock band is a guitarist, a drummer, a bassist and a vocalist." The Honeydogs don't subscribe to this formula. What Comes After proves that rock 'n roll can feature a strings section and a trumpet and asks, "Why shouldn't rock 'n roll feature a flugelhorn?"

I think What Comes After is a textured musical journey that reminds us along the way of what is truly important, the people we care about and simply being happy in our lives and with ourselves.

The album begins with the rootsy, soulful track "Particles Or Waves" and then delivers us into what I can only call a "classic Honeydogs sound" on "Aubben."

The third track on What Comes After is a breathtakingly beautiful, string-laden song called "Everything In It's Place" which feels to me like an affirmation for the future that segues perfectly into the poppy "Broke It, Buy It" (in my notes, I called this tune Ben Folds Five with horns!).

The title track is my favorite. It's at one moment delicate and introspective and then as if someone pushed a "bombastic" button. Then it's a like a Partridge Family sing-along and next it's building into a rock opera!

"Fighting Weight" is a high energy, percussion driven track that will get you moving and singing along in just a jiffy. Then catch your breath and enjoy the sweet, relaxing vibe of "Always A Long Time."

The highly addictive, jangly guitar riff in "Better Word For Love" pours over you like a musical liquid while the sentiment in the lyrics is earnest and simple.

The "Devil We Do" is the perfect tune to listen to as you're leaving work on your way to your local happy-hour, rockin', boozy and bluesy with an epic amount of attitude and plenty of drums for you to practice your air drumming skills.

Enjoy the ride of "Death By Boredom" which starts off with a frenetic cacophony that becomes raw and focused, capturing you whole and then tickles you with string work that is reminiscent of a Zeppelin or old blues tune and begins to build and build back to that frenetic cacophony again. The Honeydogs then bring out the banjo for a foot-stomper on "Blood Is Blood."

As we near the end of our journey, "our GPS is down" and we're "lost and found again" and aimed back towards the things that are truly important, one last time with the help of guitars, horns, string arrangements, keys, pop and catchy hooks, all brought together by the best vocal work of Adam Levy's career.

Nope, The Honeydogs didn't get that "rock 'n roll formula" memo. Or if they did, they ignored it. And we should thank them for it. While it's true that What Comes After is The Honeydog's first studio recording they've released in six years, it is also true that with this10th studio effort, they've released the best CD of their career.