Local H rocks beyond mundane

Dana D'Orazio

Local H, known best for their catchy hard-edged “Bound for the Floor,” or as many know it the “Copasetic song,” are still rocking tunes that are harder and edgier, showcasing music that’s better than ever.

This dynamic duo has been rocking since the late eighties. Formed by two high school friends Scott Lucas (drums) and Joe Daniels (vocals and guitar) in 1987, Local H has transformed through the years.

First noticed for their unique incorporation of bass with Lucas devising a way to insert bass strings into his six string Local H was anything but your typical rock band from the start. Originally from Chicago, the boys started out in local clubs and in 1994, landed a record deal with Island Records, with whom they released their 1995 debut album, “Ham Fisted.”

Riding the wave of the addictive Nirvana sound, critics were unsure of the familiar sound and Local H gained a minor buzz. Their next album would prove to be different; 1996 marked the release of “As Good As Dead” which went gold and gained Lucas and Daniels their much deserved recognition.

With singles such as “Bound for the Floor” and “Eddie Vedder” rocking the air waves Local H caught listeners’ attention. Their sound soon became recognized as alternative rock with a base in classic hard rock the band’s unique styling taking on a life of its own, “Local H has made a career out of straddling the fine line between indie and classic rock.”

Their sound coupled with their edgy lyrics described as some as “Midwestern angst” has made Local H a success. In 1996 Local H hit the road with their sound touring with the Stone Temple Pilots.

Two years would pass and in 1998 Local H would hit a rough spot. Their third album “Pack Up the Cats” was released and yet the band was forced to deal with changes such as leaving their current label and Daniels decision to leave the band.

In 2000 Daniels was replaced by drummer Brian St. Claire of Triple Fast Action and Local H joined the label Palm Pictures.

The band put out two more albums “Here Comes the Zoo” in 2002 and “No Fun EP” in 2003. “Here Comes the Zoo” was an album marked by such collaborations as guitarist Joshua Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age and Jerry Only, the bass player of the Misfits, and the album’s single “Hands on the Bible” video hit MTV. “No Fun EP” marked a comeback for the band with St. Claire fully integrated into the mix with his drum beats the band was on it’s way. With a louder edgier sound and more intense lyrics Local H exploded onto the music scene once again.

Their long awaited sixth album “Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles?” is due to drop April 6, 2004. Their first single off the album “California Songs” is a great example of the evolution and music producing quality this duo has. It’s charged with great beats and the guitar is sickly insane. The satirical lyrics are in your face and it’s definitely Local H at its best.

The first track “Where are They Now?” showcases St. Claire and Lucas’ amazing collaboration of intense rhythms and drum beats punctuated by Lucas’ hardcore havoc on the guitar. This intensity is kept alive and fresh in the tracks that follow. “California Songs” eases you in with a mellower intro and definite drum beats and ropes you in with its angst and anger charged lyrics.

You can’t resist it, the sound is intense and takes you for a rocking ride that you don’t want to end. Track four, “Dick Jones,” has a beat you can’t resist with intoxicating rhythms by St. Claire and stellar vocals and guitar by Lucas, showcasing their ability to not only rock hard but also funnel their talents into a mellower yet still intense sound that you want to turn all the way up and feel. “Heavy Metal Bakesale,” if the song title wasn’t enough of a clue, this track is just what it claims to be with a sampling of intense and hardcore rocking some of the best on the entire album.

The band manages to create a new sound with each track, keeping a consistent intensity and rock beat; any listener would be unable to grow bored. In fact, it’s just the very opposite, as the cd is a track turner destined to leave you hungry for the evolution of new beats and sounds.

Local H has definitely put out something everyone should at least hear once as an example of rock at its best and most intense, knowing when to back off and when to up the energy, it’s a must listen!

To check out the new single, “California Songs,” hit the street freq website www.street-freq.com, which currently features the single.

A sneak preview of the album on Local H’s site www.localh.com is up and running as of March 1, 2004. You can catch Local H live April 17, as they will be playing at Soundwaves in Reading and a show April 22 at the Khyber.