There's nothing like a dose of yesterday's flavors to put today's in perspective. Roughly representative of hard rock from a time when "grunge" didn't require quotation marks, Local H's Scott Lucas is not only from the mid-'90s, but of the mid-'90s, ahead of his time only in the minimal guitar-and-drums setup he's shared with a succession of drummers. Consider, however, the New Wave monkey-boys currently flopping around in those loose-fitting rock-star shoes: Blasting guitars are more liberating than preening retro-tones; crackly wailing at least doesn't require a fake English accent; and failure and spite are actual themes, whereas the new boys generally say more with their clothes than with their lyrics. Local H has range, too -- from Sabbathy jams to pop inspired by the Midwestern punk of the '80s. And Lucas writes a mean kiss-off, as on last year's "California Songs": "Please, no more California songs," he shouts, "and fuck New York, too." Now that's timeless.
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