Here Comes The Zoo


gallery of sound

by Gary Graff

After losing his record deal and his drummer, you can’t blame Local H’s Scott Lucas for being a little ornery, and he vents his spleen with exuberant force throughout the 10 tracks on Here Comes the Zoo. Breaking new partner Brian St. Clair, formerly of Triple Fast Action into the duo, Lucas straps on his guitar/bass and rails at full throttle about religion (“Hands on the Bible”), romantic desperation (“Baby Wants to Tame Me”), complacency (“Creature Comforted”), terminal hipness (“Bryn-Mawr Stomp”) and a legion of “Rock & Roll Professionals,” for whom he notes “no song is too sacred” as they’re “rockin’ for dollars…real estate…(and) lawyers.”

Lucas and St. Clair also continue Local H’s track record for employing big-name producers without sacrificing the group’s grunge-metal-punk attack; on 1999’s lauded Pack Up the Cats it was Queen/Cars maestro Roy Thomas Baker, while Here Comes the Zoo hooks the band up with Jack Douglas, who, after working with Aerosmith, Cheap Trick and others, certainly knows his way around aggressive guitar music. Lucas has opened Local H’s ranks even further this time out, too, with a cadre of guests that includes Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme (on “Rock & Roll Professionals”), Misfits’ Jerry Only, Sullen’s Shanna Kiel and Simi’s Simantha Sernaker.

Here Comes the Zoo has its indulgent moments—nine minutes of “Baby Wants to Tame Me” mostly works, 25-plus minutes of “What Would You Have Me Do?” is gratuitous at best—but it’s gratifying to see that after taking a couple of hits, one of rock ‘n’ roll’s few haymakers is swinging back, hard.