Its been almost eight years since Local H flirted with the mainstream with their hit single "Bound for the Floor(The Copacetic Song)" off their 1996 record "As Good As Dead". But as weird as it sounds, even though they've retreated from rock stardom and major labels(they were dropped by Island in 1998 while their record "Pack Up The Cats" was heading UP the charts.), Local H apparently are just getting better.
After 2002's scattershot "Pack Up The Zoo", which found lead singer/ multi-instrumental Scott Lucas reminscing on his brief shot of fame, "Whatever Happenend to P.J Soles" is a strong stellar album from start to finish.
If you were down with Local H back in the late ninties, then you know what you're going to get here. Fourteen tracks that bridge punk's anger and metals love of volume. Though they were often slagged with Bush and Silverchair as another Nirvana clone, Local H were always less into being artsy and more into rocking.
Scott Lucas dead pan lyrical deliver and sense of humor are back in fine force, ecspeccially on the mid west anthem "California Songs", where he wails against California and New York bands, is equal parts anthemic and funny. The title cut, "P.J. Soles" takes the idea of reminscing to another level, writing a love song for a girl he saw in the movies and wondering where she is at now. "Hey Rita" should be a huge single if it weren't so murky sounding(in a good way): catchy, raw and never boring. They even continue to flirt a little bit with the stoner rock vibe on the ten minute plus "Buffalo Trace", which is instantly reminscent of "Here Comes the XZoo"'s two best songs, "Hands of the Bible" and "What Would You Have Me Do?"
Drummer Brian St. Clair, who replaced origanel drummer Joe Daniels after Local H "left" Island, equates himself better here then he did on "Here Comes the Zoo", bringing a much needed and welcomed heavy metal backbeat to Scott Lucas' songs.
I would gladly put "Whatever Happenend to P.J. Soles?" along with the earlier Local H records, but it also shows the bands best days maybe a head of them. How is it one of the best indie bands in the land is a one-hit wonder from the mid-ninties?
Do yourself a favor and check out "Whatver Happened to P.J. Soles?"