CDNOW Review

Having lived through more than a few of the lesser '90s rock trends and major label upheavals, Local H may be more than just a grunge survivor - the band's indie-via-classic rock may just be the genre's saving grace. Too bad frontman Scott Lucas is otherwise preoccupied: he's having too much fun tearing down his idols to unseat the Nickelbacks of the world.

At least he's serious about his template: Here Comes the Zoo, with its tight, ten-song arc and machine-like precision, is a paean to hard-rock classics of yesteryear like AC/DC's Back in Black. Lucas' caustic wit gives the dirges a modern, ironic edge (he's rocking about, well, rocking), but his attention to the sonic details would make Angus proud; "Hands on the Bible" and "Keep Your Girlfriend Away From Me" are huge chunks of power pop, lead-heavy but crackling with arena-sized melodies (there's even handclaps and cowbells on "Rock & Roll Professionals").

It's a rock record at once smart and sharp, something of a rarity in an age when generic modern rock rules the roost.

Brad Cawn

CDNOW Contributing Writer