Manishevitz City Life

Adam Busch is lurching towards full-on rock star histrionics, on this, Manishevitz's third full-length. Last year's Private Lines EP marked a noticeable change in his inimitable singing style, and his increased bravado (and enunciation) is something he wears well. The opening song is a bit like the Cars on a mild sedative, accented with slacker handclaps and Busch's hiccupping "here she comes again” refrain. (True to form, our hero gives up on the girl well before he begins.) These days Manishevitz are more of a roadworthy unit, with a much more coherent sound that delivers their compelling eccentricities with greater style. The band is playing tighter than ever before, helped in no small part by the addition of new drummer Joe Adamik, who brings a more rigorous approach to the band's arty excursions. The band tends to surge on ahead of Busch, or maybe he's just lagging behind — at times this makes for delicious tension, but once or twice it just unravels completely. The appearance of blaring horns in the last few years is another welcome change, perking up Busch's previous mumbling tendencies. He just sounds like a happier guy these days, and I for one, hope his current bout of mania persists. (Sonic Unyon)