I first saw Local H nearly 20 years ago, at the Spectrum in Philadelphia opening for Stone Temple Pilots. This was well before DFA, The Black Keys, Royal Blood or even the White Stripes had dared to try and convince anyone that two people on stage could be more than enough to bring a house down. But they did it, throwing their big radio hit into the middle of the set like they didn’t need it, and closing with a Rocket From The Crypt cover and an angry little song called High Fiving Motherfucker.
Even then, they had been doing it for almost a decade already, and their noise came from a well-oiled machine, through a guitar with an extra bass pickup that the more senior half, Scott Lucas, had a friend embed under the top strings in 1993 when he couldn’t find a bass player. They were unique then. But what’s most impressive is not that they were first. It’s that unlike so many other bands that came up through the alt-rock grunge scene three decades ago, they’ve only gotten better. This year they released their eighth studio album, Hey Killer, and impossibly, it’s their best yet.
So not to call ourselves out or anything, but this wasn’t one of those situations where one of our favorite band from the 90s comes in for a session, and we hope they bust out some songs from that ancient first album we grew up with. We were smirking proudly from the moment they started in with an oh-so-not quiet version of the last song from the new album, I Am A Salt Mine.
This is one we’ve been trying to bring to you ever since hearing Hey Killer. There had been a close call or two and a last-minute cancellation, but we finally got them into our home studio at Swing House while Scott and Ryan swung through the area on tour with Failure a couple weeks back.
So, suffice to say that #25 is a fine session, folks, featuring a couple of bona fide professionals ripping shit up right. From the start, through the blasphemous and highly entertaining The Misanthrope, and an unhinged John The Baptist Blues despite (or thanks to) a possibly dying amp, this one’s sure to send your conservative Fox News loving family members into a fit of rage this holiday season.
Local H’s tour dates continue into January. They’ll be playing NYC tomorrow night and then they’ll be heading through the midwest. For all updates, start at localh.com. And go buy Hey Killer already.