Local H, local band

Local H hits the ground running with their release of "Whatever happened to PJ Soles?" Hailing from the town of Zion, Illinois, it is perhaps appropriate that this little-known band with a small but vibrant cult-following would name their album after an actress with cult appeal (PJ Soles stared in 'Halloween,' 'Stripes' and other films and has somewhat of a cult following). Other than that, the title is a bit puzzling.

The band does, perhaps, garner some titular credibility with the best song on the album, "PJ Soles." In this song they extend the analogy of PJ Soles to a past love obsession: "I think of you like PJ Soles. I was your biggest fan . . . I guess it's like they said: that it was all just built up in my head."

Except for 'P.J. Soles,' the album lacks radio friendliness, but is a good effort by what is an ultimately local band. True to their roots, they even devote a whole song to ranting "we're all so sick of California songs . . . and f*ck New York too."

The most interesting moments are created in experimentation with keyboard and guitar to create a soulful blend that is heartfelt and authentic. While the album is a little too heavy on the formulaic driving drums and snarling guitars, it should be enjoyable for fans of the band and those who like earnest rock and roll with colloquial appeal.

By Doug Main February 27, 2004