Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles?
Studio E

Efficient Illinois unit forges on past major-label cultdom

Before Jack and Meg were even an item, Local H were a power duo: unrelenting guitarist-vocalist (and also, clandestinely, bassist) Scott Lucas, and a drummer--dynamite Joe Daniels on their terrific '90s Island albums, heavier Brian St. Clair after label support collapsed. Dedicated to another faded cult hero, the female lead of the 1979 teen-rebellion farce Rock 'n' Roll High School, Local H's latest offers up Lucas's usual strong songs, loud and tuneful enough to hold their own with, for instance, those of Cheap Trick. But the material is no longer wild enough to blow the competition off the stage with the youthful belief that eternal energy will carry all before it. On one song, Mom and Dad call. Not to worry, Lucas insists: "I'm alive, like everyone's alive."

Blender, Apr. 2004