Zoo review in Louisville paper

Music Review: Here Comes the Zoo

By Jay Ditzer

March 13, 2002

Here Comes the Zoo Local H (Palm Pictures)

Local H’s last full-length release, Pack Up the Cats, was probably the best album of 1998, an honest-to-God concept album that was, in the vernacular of Sum 41, all killer, no filler — a straightforward, rap-free, post-alternative hard rock album that had the hideous bad timing of being released on Island Records during the big Seagram’s buyout of Polygram. It slipped through the cracks, virtually ignored. Drummer Joe Daniels quit the band soon after, and since Local H was a duo, frontman Scott Lucas was left holding the bag all by his lonesome.

But that’s all ancient history. New century, new label, new drummer (former Triplefastaction skinsman Brian St. Clair) and new album. Here Comes the Zoo continues in the noble, if underappreciated, tradition of its predecessor. “Son of Cha” even provides an epilogue of sorts for the previous album. The new record is a bit more modest in scope, although many songs are bitter rants against selling out (“5th Avenue Crazy,” “Creature Comforted,” “Rock & Roll Professionals”).

Fortunately, sarcasm and self-pity are not the only weapons in the Local H arsenal. “Half-Life” is a slamming power-pop number that highlights Lucas’ larynx-shredding vocal stylings. “Keep Your Girlfriend” has a jangly verse that gives way to a blistering chorus. “Bryn-Mawr Stomp” pays cheeky homage to Led Zep. The 25-minute (!!) final cut, “What Would You Have Me Do,” reprises elements of earlier songs, demonstrating that Lucas hasn’t given up on the notion of treating albums as being deeper and more unified than just batches of songs.

Classic rock wolves in indie-punk sheep drag, Local H fills an ever-increasing void in contemporary music: rock bands that manage to rock without resorting to Limp Bizkit-flavored idiocy.