While they're poster children for the perils of '90's alt-rock success—hit it big with a distinctive track, have some label issues, release a follow-up album that doesn't quite connect, disappear and re-appear in the decades to follow, particularly in those decade/genre package tours—Illinois duo Local H deserves more credit then say Better Than Ezra (although "Good" is still my jam) for cranking out stacks of songs generally better and more interesting than their most successful effort ("Bound for the Floor," probably playing on an alt-rock station somewhere in America right now). The drummer has changed a few times, but guitarist Scott Lucas remains a sarcastic observer of how life rarely turns out how you'd hoped, although it's a little weird that the group's recent resurgence has been fueled by a proficient but somewhat dull cover of Lorde's "Team."


While Local H's most recent original studio album—2012's election year indictment of the American dream, Hallelujah! I'm a Bum—is worth at least a Spotify stream, the best record in their catalog is 1998's Pack Up the Cats, which riffs on the idea of their attempt at success, including a song about playing a terrible show and deeply cynical lines like "I'm in love with rock and roll but that'll change eventually" (from "Hit The Skids Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Rock"). It's a weird moment of art-imitating-life as a label sale ended up leaving the album in promotional limbo.


Sure, you'd have to say "Bound for the Floor," one of the few songs ever played on the radio to use the word "copacetic," but a better track (and almost hit) from that album, 1996's As Good As Dead, is "I Saw What You Did and I Know Who You Are," a dark, sludgy rock track. From the later albums, check out "The One With 'Kid'," the beginning of the band's break-up themed album 12 Angry Months, which reflects on splitting up a record collection. From Hallelujah! I'm a Bum, who wouldn't enjoy a song called "They Saved Reagan's Brain"?

Local H are scheduled to play the Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., on Friday, July 11, with doors opening at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at rocktucson.com for $10.21.

More by Dan Gibson


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