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Local H – [Album]

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Thursday, 19 June 2008

Banished for twelve years because a fluke, throwaway song struck a chord and dragged them into the spotlight for about a month in 1996, Local H got dubbed a one-hit wonder with the success of “Bound For The Floor” and were then summarily forgotten when the band didn’t grab the brass ring and start writing sound-alike hits. The band was more interested in following its muse than cashing in and they paid for it; wandering to no less than four different labels and pressing forward, but never again registering on the popular radar.

Because of that stigma, it’s questionable how many people will actually hear Twelve Angry Months and that’s painfully unfortunate—it’s a most incredible album. Lots of bands have written good break-up songs before, but Twelve Angry Months is a concept album that tells the story of a bad break-up that’s so vivid, it’s difficult to assume the account is entirely fictional; anyone that has ever had their heart broken will recognize the plain-spoken sentiments and the progression of them in these twelve tracks.

Twelve Angry Months opens right at the end of the relationship with “The One With ‘Kid’”: an account of that moment after the shit has hit the fan and our protagonist has recoiled into shock before launching into equal parts wounded fury and pettiness. The song divides record collections in the spirit of one-sided fairness (on the block: Zeppelin albums, Interpol, Libertines AC/DC, that Pretenders album—you know, “the one with ‘Kid’” —and “all my Kyuss records—you never liked them until you met me”) and rails out every petty urge that singer/guitarist/bassist Scott Lucas can come up with in four and a half minutes. The hurt in his voice is unmistakable and so genuine that one could swear he was yelling at a photograph for inspiration in the studio during the recording session.

From there, the album devolves immediately into pettiness and harsh over-criticism (“Michelle (Again)” and “BMW Man” respectively) and rests in the hopeless hurt for five months (each of the twelve tracks represents a monthin the post-break-up year) before “24 Hour Break-Up Session” re-opens the wounds. By then though, the emotional damage has already crippled this story’s main character and so what follows in “Simple Pleas” and “Machine Sled Wrestling” can only be characterized as grim resignation.

By “Blur,” our hero has picked himself up off the floor to look around and the healing process begins. That isn’t to say that everything is fine—he's emerged from the wreckage an altered beast that’s irrevocably darker—but “Hand To Mouth” finds the tortured protagonist looking forward and starting to pick up the pieces.

Through each chapter, the band has penned complimentary music for each mood that supports the plot rather than simply accompanying it; when Lucas screams, so does his guitar and as he’s coming down, so too do the decibel levels. It all amounts to a compelling, engaging, consistent and (most importantly) believable storyline that draws listeners in and keeps them riveted because of both the intrinsic accessibility of the subject and the way it’s presented: you’ve lived the content of 12 Angry Months and can’t help but want to see if you’re not the only one that came out of it the way you did.

Artist info:

www.localh.com
http://www.myspace.com/localh

Album:

Local H – 12 Angry Months. Buy it NOW on Amazon!

 

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