Sure, Lucas clearly still wears his influences on his sleeve -- be it the classic rock of Zeppelin and Floyd or the power of Kyuss and Quicksand -- but now he and St. Clair have progressed to a new level by incorporating the best of their influences into an album that greatly differs from their previous five efforts. There's more studio trickery, more actual singing and better-formed songs. And no, Lucas hasn't lost his anger -- he's simply found a way to channel it into better songwriting. There's the sing-along anthem "California Songs," whose chorus goes like this: "Here we go again, it's never gonna end, we're all so sick of California songs / We know you love L.A., there's nothing more to say, please no more California songs / and fuck New York too." Then there's the ten-minute-plus acid-rock epic "Buffalo Trace" -- it's clear that Local H was laying down the rock on P.J. Soles.
Live, Local H is a powerhouse. St. Clair plays drums with a ferocious, Keith Moon-like energy, while Lucas always more than holds his own, whether he's singing or playing bass or guitar. His intensity, coupled with his songwriting skills and the right amounts of angst and humor on stage, are a great combination, and if Lucas's performance at this year's South By Southwest showcase is any indication, expect an excellent show with an interesting cover song or two thrown in.
Locals By the End of Tonight open. Recently signed to Portland's Temporary Residence label (who will release their EP in late summer), the band will get a chance to exhibit its adrenalized mixture of instrumental rock, which is less moody than that of labelmates Explosions in the Sky.