Rolling Stone - Here Comes the Zoo

Back in Aerosmith's heyday, there was no whining allowed in rock & roll. Local H -- a Midwestern duo who hold Rocks sacred -- are in complete agreement on their fourth album, Here Comes the Zoo. So on "Half-Life," when Scott Lucas yelps, "You're born with nothing, better make it enough," Brian St. Clair, who recently replaced Joe Daniels, tramples any hint of self-pity with a drum barrage special-delivered from Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti. Unlike Local H's fine 1998 release,Pack Up the Cats, there is no overarching concept to muddle the my-fist, your-face enjoyment. Guitars hacksaw their way through a wall of kick-drum dementia, even as Lucas delivers the kind of smart lyrics that don't call attention to just how smart-alecky they really are. Two stoned-immaculate epics -- "Baby Wants to Tame Me" and "What Would You Have Me Do?" -- provide a respite from the hammering, forging a connection between "Stranglehold"-era Ted Nugent and Queens of the Stone Age, whose Josh Homme makes a cameo. Local H may not necessarily be the future of rock, but in 2002, they may best embody what rock once meant.