Local H - Hey Killer

by Brian Lange. Rating:8 Release Date:2015-04-14

Listening to Hey, Killer, it is hard to believe that the first Local H record was over 20 years ago. Though originally a four-piece, Local H has had a longtime stature as a duo, now with drummer Ryan Harding, and singer/songwriter Scott Lucas taking on both guitar and bass responsibilities for the live shows by the addition of bass pickups on his guitar.

Alt-rock isn’t what it was in the 90s, but Hey, Killer might as well be a record released during the golden age of alternative, when MTV was plastered with low budget music videos of guys in tattered jeans, old sneakers and t-shirts. Scott still embodies this spirit. Like a kid picking up his first guitar in his musty basement, Scott just wants to rock out.

Scott once covered the Britney Spears song 'Toxic, which many people assumed to be an ironic joke. The irony is in fact that Scott actually has a bit of a pop music guilty pleasure. It’s really quite evident when you translate this to rock, as catchy riffs and hooks are what Hey, Killer is all about. 

With songs titled 'Freshly Fucked', 'Mansplainer' and 'The Misanthrope' among others, you can be assured that you’re going to get songs thrown towards any generic demographic of losers and "high-fiving motherfuckers" that Scott has observed in the world. As he repeatedly screams “There’s nothing worse than people!” on 'The Misanthrope', one might think that Scott is just a ball of rage, but this record isn’t just 12 tracks of ramblings and rantings. This isn’t an ‘angry’ record in the least. Yes, it’s filled with energy and adrenaline, but in a way that'll help jaded youth to expel their aggression and frustrations into something more positive. 

Though not thematically a concept album, this record works very well as a solid body of work. Just about any track could exist on its own and is radio-friendly (sans a few f-bombs here and there), but the record is the type you could listen to from start to finish. It doesn’t feel arbitrarily put together. It feels complete. 

This is the first time Scott has recorded with Ryan, who joined last year. He said that the process was incredibly smooth. Collecting ideas while touring together last year, Scott and Ryan were able to finish Hey, Killer in time to coincide with the anniversary of the first Local H show on April 20, 1990. They’ll be playing to a hometown Chicago crowd on April 19, just to make things really official, which marks the start of a three-month US tour. 

I was fortunate to speak to Scott personally about the album and Local H. When I asked him if he’d ever do anything else, he responded with “No, why would I?” You can read my full interview with Scott here. Alt-rock may have changed or even disappeared, but Local H still prevails.

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