illinois entertainer

Local H Martyrs', Chicago Saturday, February 23, 2002

By Althea Legaspi Associate Editor

This show was much anticipated, by band and fans alike. And it has been a long time coming. For Local H, their fourth album Here Comes The Zoo was initially to be released last September. Finally, after months of postponements, the album came out on March 5, and with it a show at Martyrs'. The enthusiasm exuded onstage was contagious as the fans sang along, hands in the air, and heads bobbing throughout the set. It seems that doing things differently bodes well for the band: a new record, a new label (Palm Pictures), and a different venue to launch Local H's tour for their fourth album, Here Comes The Zoo.

Taking the stage for the sold-out show, Scott Lucas and Brian St. Clair took to their respective instruments and launched their show to the riled-up audience. The show was equal parts new, equal parts familiar. The new material did not disappoint the fans who have been starved of Local H recordings since 1998's Pack Up The Cats. The new album's lead single, "Half-Life," has already received airplay (in fact, most of the new tunes seem radio-friendly) in Chicago, and the fans were already familiar with the half-screeched, straight-ahead rock 'n' roll that is signature to Local H's sound. Lucas seemed to really enjoy belting the tune, and St. Clair met the enthusiasm, hair and hands flying above his drum kit.

Local H's new album opener "Hands On The Bible" is a spooky sounding song about karma and how things eventually catch up with you. The 'scary movie' keyboard tinkling and the doomsday sort of sound was well-received. "Keep Your Girlfriend" is one of the more melodic songs of the new material, and the catchy lyrics also seemed to please. Of course, the standbys are what really drew the most reaction. From '96's As Good As Dead came the anthemic "Bound For The Floor," the cynical "Eddie Vedder" and the rousing "Back In The Day." From their last album, Pack Up The Cats, we were treated to "All-Right (Oh Yeah)" and the self-deprecating "All The Kids Are Right." Judging from the crowd's reaction and from the band's performance, this may very well be the year Local H surpasses being Bound For The Floor; hopefully for them they're bound for reaching more of the national radio airwaves.