The Lonely H

Only the fresh faces of The Lonely H, five longhaired kids barely out of high school, bear the markings of just how young they are. Their music is mature and honed with finesse, aged well beyond the members' years, from back when rock unironically riffed and strutted and gestured mischievously. Maybe they just had cool dads (or grandpas, for that matter) who showed them the ropes of how rock was really done — their small hometown of Port Angeles, Washington, isn't exactly a cultural hotbed. Perhaps it's that lack of infiltrating outside sources that makes The Lonely H's sound uniquely theirs, while owing a bit to what has come before. It says something about a band's potential when after-school and weekend jam sessions result in a pair of strong records: 2006 debut Kick Upstairs and now Hair. For kids whose parents had to drive them to shows, Kick Upstairs was a fine start, but Hair shows vocalist/keyboardist Mark Fredson's continued songwriting growth and maturity, and the rich vocal harmonies of an experienced pro. His bandmates are right there along with him. Loaded with classic-rock riffage, Hair's catchiest songs — "The Meal," "Hair," "Say Your Prayers" — are just what "alternative" stations, with their latticed web of pitchy, nasally vocals, need. (The band does have one of those too, just in case: "The Drought.") Hard to say just how far The Lonely H will go, but let's just say these former high school nobodies are going to be the most popular at their class reunion.

The Lonely H performs Tuesday, August 14, at Super Happy Fun Land, 2610 Ashland, 713-880-2100. The Watermarks, The Gold Sounds and Ladyheat are also on the bill.

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Travis Ritter