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Every now and then I really dig í70s rock. It was a singular time in America. Everyone was strapped for cash. The country was starting to divide into the people that stubbornly bought American-made automobiles and the folks that succumbed to the better gas-mileage offerings from overseas. Club Med was still a brothel. The hangover from the Ď60s had settled into a fine haze of continuing, languid rebellion. Amidst this setting, rock and roll was flourishing. Bands were popping up like dandelions in an untreated yard, and radioís role as king had solidified.
Local H would have thrived in this environment. This odd Chicago two-piece has been offering a crunching brand of rock reminiscent of that period for years, and they continue this trend on their latest EP. No Fun is six tracks of blistering classic rock. Each song is an anthem to the auto-worker, the weekend warrior, the guy cruising in his Camaro to the local 7-11 where he can pick up a couple of 40ís and cruise the strip.
Three of the songs on No Fun are covers. They reproduce the Godfathersí "Birth, School, Work, Death" with consummate classic-rock flare. The Ramoneís "I Just Want Something To Do" comes through nicely sans accent, guitars ringing in Kiss-like simplicity under Scott Lucasís direction, his vocals echoing perfectly. Then thereís the strange choice of Primal Screamís "Fuck Yeah, That Wide," which extends across the last 10 minutes of the EP. The guitars, drums and vocals mix into a strange, disheveled mass that recalls the Butthole Surfers. After three minutes of organization under Lucas repeating "Youíve got the money / weíve got the soul," the song degenerates into stops and starts along with random noises and hollers. Itís a little fun and a little long at the same time. Close to the end, weíre even treated to a little Zeppelin riff, which fits perfectly with the sound.
The real treasures on this EP are the three originals. The title track is straight-up rock, starting out with lonely drums joined by a no-frills power chord riff. Lucas repeatedly yells "Itís no fuckiní fun" in a classic, broken-throated voice. "President Forever" is a humorous and poignant track (and the best on the EP) written ironically from our beloved presidentís point of view. "Iím gonna laugh in the face of the national debt / I wanna bill the free world and make Ďem pay back-rent / Iím gonna take the statue back from the fuckiní French." "Cooler Heads" takes a turn toward garage-grunge, with a riff that sounds like itís straight off of Nirvanaís Bleach.
Heís bounced around labels and changed drummers, but Scott Lucas keeps producing a sound that, though itís right out of our past, is a refreshing feature on our modern musical landscape. Iím hoping that heís found a home with Thick Records and continues producing. Itís good to have a break now and then, and the simplicity of Local H works nicely.