METAL EDGE (May 2002) HCTZ Review

LOCAL H Here Comes the Zoo Palm

Absorbing the power that is Local H, it's impossible to comprehend that the dynamic duo aren't one of the biggest things to emerge from Chicago since Air Jordan crossed paths with Da' Bears. But that just proves how pathetic the record-buying public really are--There's not a track on Here Comes The Zoo that wouldn't pummel any weathered, pop-musical creed to a shapeless pulp. In a word? Power. Tons of it. Tons of power... And more where that came from. Opening track "Hands On The Bible" is an unflinching ode to the "rats in the attic" and "toys in the cellar" that haunt rock's past like long-forgotten spectres. "Half-Life" is twice the song of anything we're hearing on radio, "Son Of Cha" is a hook-laden bastard child of The Knack's "My Sharona," and "Fifth Ave. Crazy" erupts into a frenzy of power-chords and crashing drums. By the time we reach the album's "Baby Wants To Tame Me" halfway point, even the most erstwhile rockers will appreciate the tough-as-nails, nine-minute breather. Rest up, because when the razor-sharp "Rock & Roll Professionals" swings Local H's big rock 'n' roll balls back into motion, there's no getting out of the way. It's like someone introduced the Beach Boys to Van Halen, and they made metallic magic together. "Keep Your Girlfriend Away From Me" continues the power-pop, driving rock trend, bringing to mind a more adrenalized take on the infectious sounds of their homestate neighbors Cheap Trick. "Creature Comforted" offers an industrial-free alternative to Rob Zombie, and "Bryn-Mawr Stomp" is as Ramone-ready as it is MC5-fueled, throwing a punk-rock sensibility into the already-incendiary rawk mix. "Wait till you see what we planned for you," sings frontman/guitarist/bassist Scott Lucas a minute into closing track "What Would You Have Me Do?," and while it may seem a better-suited line for an opening track, when Lucas continues, "Beaten six ways to Sunday now, I'm sorry to enjoy this, but what would you have me do?" all the rock 'n' roll majesty spirals into perfect sense. Clich? bands and boring music rule radio, so Local H offer an option--If you've got a monster truck, pop this into the stereo and go crush some rush hour traffic. If you don't have a monster truck, go buy one. You owe Local H at least that much.

--Paul Gargano