Music

Local H: The No Fun EP

Andrew Gilstrap

Local H

The No Fun EP

Label: Thick
US Release Date: 2003-05-27
UK Release Date: Available as import
Amazon
iTunes

Local H has aggression in spades, and they put it to good use on this six-song, thirty-minute EP. Newly retooled (drummer Joe Daniel left before 2002's Here Comes the Zoo, to be replaced by Triple Fast Action drummer Brian St. Clair), Local H seem to be getting very comfortable with their new arrangement. Despite some strong tracks, Here Comes the Zoo didn't quite click, but No Fun finds the band flailing away through three originals and three covers with new life.

Of the originals, "No Fun" kicks things off. Like a lot of Local H material, it doesn't try to reinvent the wheel, relying instead on an ominous drum beat and guitar blasts that could level folk clubs three towns over. "Cooler Heads" rumbles in on a slurred, catchy riff that eases back while vocalist/guitarist Scott Lucas muses on the fleeting nature of scenes and trends. "President Forever", though, kicks up the most dust with a scathing, below-the-belt indictment of life under George W. Bush. Sample lyric: "Daddy look at me I'm a big boy now / A brat to the manor born / Who wants to go back to war with Iraq / Who wants to shoot a slingshot full of rocks of crack" (OK, not sure what that last line's all about, but the song's attitude is plain). Chock full of hammering guitars, it sweeps you along in an angry tide. Even though its template isn't far removed from Local H's other songs, it deserves notice because it's one of the few songs of dissent that hasn't been relegated to Internet-only downloads, and for its total bypass of peace activism in favor of character assassination. Agree or disagree, at least Local H stick their necks out and voice a strong opinion.

Of the covers, No Fun includes The Godfathers' "Birth, School, Work, Death", which Local H give a measured, well-paced sense of imprisonment. The Ramones' "I Just Want Something to Do" stomps in on a fuzzy riff and some background piano as Lucas looks for a way to fend off the boredom of the lyrics. It's old hat, but Local H does that drums and guitars in sympathy thing about as well as anyone. The most interesting cover, though, is their take on the lyrics to Primal Scream's "Fuck Yeah, That Wide". Stretching out across nine minutes, it's one of the most interesting things Local H has done. For about the first minute and a half, it's pure Primal Scream swirliness before it settles into a riff that's totally Local H, but which wouldn't have been out of place on Primal Scream's Xtrmntr disc. From there, it just rolls on like a runaway train while blips and assorted electronica remnants run out on the tracks for a few seconds at a time. Even though the band gives music credits to "every band who's ever done this shit before", the song's a lot of fun (even more fun might be Primal Scream returning the favor by covering "President Forever").

All in all, No Fun is a good tide-me-over until their next studio record. Already, the band exhibits a better feel for things than on Here Comes the Zoo and they definitely get points for some interesting covers. Maybe those covers gave Local H a reminder of some sort; whatever the case, No Fun finds them resembling the lean riff machine of old.

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Film

Masaki Kobayashi's 'Kwaidan' Horror Films Are Horrifically Beautiful

The four haunting tales of Masaki Kobayashi's Kwaidan are human and relatable, as well as impressive at a formal and a technical level.

Film

The Top 10 Thought-Provoking Science Fiction Films

Serious science fiction often takes a backseat to the more pulpy, crowdpleasing genre entries. Here are 10 titles far better than any "dogfight in space" adventure.

Books

'The Kill Chain': Why America Might Lose Its Next Big War

Christian Brose's defense-nerd position paper, The Kill Chain, inadvertently reveals that the Pentagon's problems (complacency, inertia, arrogance) reflect those of the country at large.

Music

2006's 'Flat-Pack Philosophy' Saw Buzzcocks Determined to Build Something of Quality

With a four-decade career under their belt, on the sixth disc in the new box-set Sell You Everything, it's heartening to see Buzzcocks refusing to settle for an album that didn't try something new.

Books

'Lie With Me': Beauty, Love and Toxic Masculinity in the Gay '80s

How do we write about repression and toxic masculinity without valorizing it? Philippe Besson's Lie With Me is equal parts poignant tribute and glaring warning.

Music

Apparat's 'Soundtrack: Capri-Revolution' Stands Alone As a Great Ambient Experience

Apparat's (aka Sascha Ring) re-imagined score from Mario Martone's 2018 Capri-Revolution works as a fine accompaniment to a meditational flight of fancy.

Music

Chouk Bwa and the Ångströmers Merge Haitian Folk and Electronic Music on 'Vodou Alé'

Haitian roots music meets innovative electronics on Chouk Bwa and the Ångströmers' Vodou Alé.

My Favorite Thing

Weird and Sweet, Riotous and Hushed: The Beatles' 'The White Album'

The Beatles' 'The White Album' is a piece of art that demonstrates how much you can stretch, how far you can bend, how big you really are. The album is deeply weird. It has mass. It has its own weather.

Music

Sarah Jarosz Finds Inspiration in Her Texas Roots on 'World on the Ground'

By turning to her roots in central Texas for inspiration on World on the Ground, Sarah Jarosz has crafted some of her strongest songs yet.

Music

Hinds' 'The Prettiest Curse' Is One of Victory

On The Prettiest Curse, Hinds create messy pop music that captures the vibrancy of youth without being childish.

Music

12 Essential Performances from New Orleans' Piano "Professors"

New Orleans music is renowned for its piano players. Here's a dozen jams from great Crescent City keyboardists, past and present, and a little something extra.

Music

Jess Williamson Reimagines the Occult As Source Power on 'Sorceress'

Folk singer-songwriter, Jess Williamson wants listeners to know magic is not found in tarot cards or mass-produced smudge sticks. Rather, transformative power is deeply personal, thereby locating Sorceress as an indelible conveyor of strength and wisdom.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.