Scott Lucas likes The Rock, and let no one argue it. But if you've actually bothered to dig into Local H's back catalog, you'll notice that his taste is more eclectic than the average survivor of the Grunge Scare (you do know Local H did a Guided by Voices cover for the Sling Blade soundtrack, right?), and Lucas offers an intriguing perspective on a few of his current fave songs on Local H's Awesome Mix Tape, Vol. 1, an EP in which guitarist/bassist/vocalist Lucas and drummer Brian St. Clair tackle eight tunes written and initially recorded by others. Since Lucas and St. Clair like to hit hard, the presence of numbers by the Jesus Lizard ("Puss"), Winnebago Deal ("Spider Bite"), and Agent Orange ("Blood Stains") isn't likely to surprise anyone, but you might not have guessed they'd open with a song by TV on the Radio ("Wolf Like Me") or turn Concrete Blonde's dysfunctional love song "Joey" into a big, bruising testament to all sorts of hurt. Local H twist Pink Floyd's "Time" into a slow, metallic slog with lots of noisy guitar and enough extended soloing to take all the mellow away, and they take the opposite approach on the Misfits' "Last Caress," with Lucas delivering a solo acoustic performance as Glenn Danzig's homage to sex and violence becomes something you'd hear at an open mike night at your neighborhood coffeehouse. All of this is to say that Local H take a handful of songs that have already had interesting lives and transform them into something very much their own, and outside of "Last Caress," there's no trace of a joke in these interpretations. Lucas and St. Clair show us what they hear in these tunes on Local H's Awesome Mix Tape, Vol. 1, and as it happens, what they hear are great tunes that rock out with intelligence and power. And that means they're just right for Local H.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming