Local H – Twelve Angry Months
Shout Factory (5/13/08)
Rock / Alternative
Local H may not be the same band that crafted one of the best, and possibly most underrated albums of the mid-’90s in As Good As Dead, but with Twelve Angry Months, Scott Lucas, the mastermind behind the band, shows he still has what it takes to create twisted-yet-subtle alternative rock music that can be thought-provoking and explosive.
Living up to its title, the album consists of twelve songs (January through December),
Opener “The One With the ‘Kid'” starts off melancholic enough, but shortly explodes into frantic drumming and head-banging riffs. It’s all very textbook Local H, especially the stutter stop-start mid-song break and consistently building end sequence.
Local H offers little filler here. “Michelle (Again)” is a bludgeoning force of rock, tempered with melody and classic pop-rock inspiration. The band sounds like it’s ready to channel Mötley Crüe for a second on “White Belt Boys”, before sliding back into a more deliberate approach. “Taxi-Cabs” sounds like a homage to Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, being over-simplistic yet brilliant all at once. The mellow “The Summer of Boats”, an acoustic joy, is dark and moody and haunting and beautiful all at once, and flourishing to close out one of the band’s finest moments.
But it’s not all magical. “BMW Man” borders on annoying, while “Machine Shed Wrestling” never seems to get off the ground floor, so to speak (it needed to be more fleshed out). But the raw power of “24 Hour Break-Up Session” and “Jesus Christ! Did you see the SIZE of that sperm whale”, or the near-perfection of the Foo Fighters-esque “Simple Pleas” more than makes up for any shortcomings.
The two-man Local H approach (Brian St. Clair is still pounding the drum kit to accompany Lucas) is filled out with an eclectic collection of studio musicians, either filling out the drums tracks or adding some string arrangements (everything from extra guitar to violin).
In the end, it’s clear Local H is back with a vengeance. This is the closest the band’s come to replicating As Good As Dead in the past decade. There’s no unfocused or overly experimental songs this time around, as it’s straight-ahead rock. Newer fans of the alternative rock genre (anyone who thinks Jack White is the next coming, perhaps?), would love this stuff. A welcome return for a band some wrote off in 1998, it’s clear Local H can still hang with the best of ’em.
Tags: Foo Fighters, motley crue, Nirvana