Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Best known for their unorthodox two-man lineup, hard rock act Local H have made a career out of straddling the fine line between indie and classic rock, cleverly framing their sardonic lyrics with a generous helping of power chords and feedback. Scott Lucas (vocals/guitar) and Joe Daniels (drums) began playing together in high school in their native Zion, Illinois. Finding a suitable bassist proved an insurmountable challenge, so the industrious Lucas eventually devised a way to install bass pickups into his six-string. Armed with this intriguing novelty setup, Local H signed with Island Records and made their recording debut on 1995's Ham Fisted, a rather unoriginal disc that had some detractors tagging them as Nirvana wannabes.
Its follow-up, 1996's much improved As Good as Dead, was another story, however, considerably expanding Local H's sonic palette and firmly establishing their identity as Midwestern ironists supreme. Led by well-crafted power pop radio singles like "Bound for the Floor" and "Eddie Vedder," the album was eventually certified gold and helped earn the Local H their alt-rock cred, while simultaneously validating the duo's contradictory ties to classic hard rock. Though less focused and not quite as immediate, 1998's still solid Pack Up the Cats seemed set to maintain the band's rising momentum. But record company woes (Island's parent company, Polygram, was in the process of being absorbed by Universal Music) effectively clipped the band at the knees, the album became lost in the shuffle, and Local H went on a near three-year hiatus. In the interim, Daniels left the band under amicable circumstances and was replaced by former Triple Fast Action drummer (and Bun E. Carlos drum tech) Brian St. Clair.
Lucas and St. Clair returned in 2000 with a new album and a new label. Here Comes the Zoo (Palm Pictures) featured more of the Midwestern angst and cutting satire that had always defined Lucas' hard rock, but added the busier drumming style of St. Clair. Incessant touring followed; in 2003, the duo returned once again with the No Fun EP for the Chicago punk imprint Thick. The band's fifth album, Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles?, arrived in spring 2004. The band released the 18-track live album Local H Comes Alive in 2005. Three years later, the duo followed up with 12 Angry Months, a concept album based on a failed relationship. The covers EP Local H's Awesome Mix Tape, Vol. 1 followed in 2010. In 2012, Local H returned to original material with the studio album Hallelujah! I'm a Bum.