Here Comes the Zoo Album reviews.
Release Date: 03.05.02
Record label: Palm Pictures
The Little Album That Could, But Didn't
by: clint poole
Creativity takes heart, soul and energy, an energy that usually builds through progress. For Local-H, Scott Lucas’ almost one-man band (Lucas handles vocals, guitar and bass, while a full-time drummer and rotating studio musicians fill-in the holes), the creative growth was progressing nicely through this formula. The band had been developing its own brand of alternative pop-rock since the mid-90’s, and had cultivated a loyal and evangelical fan base.
Then in 1998 Lucas had the energy pulled from underneath his proverbial feet. Universal Music absorbed his recording company, and the new label shelved Local-H’s about-to-be released album. Soon after, the professional setback affected personal relationships, and Lucas’ full-time drummer quit (in case you weren’t following closely, that’s 50 % of the band). Not a good year for Local-H.
Here Comes the Zoo is a living representation of Lucas’ artistic recovery. Teamed up with new drummer Brian St. Clair (formerly of Triple Fast Action), the new album is the beginning of the long-road to recapturing the creative energy once lost. While the album fails to deliver a sense of thematic direction or completeness, it does provide a glimpse of the balls-to-the wall creativity and soul Lucas’ can bring to his music. The first track “Hands on the Bible” sets the tone for the rest of the album; as it gets started, revs-up, and then doesn’t go anywhere. Most of the tracks are structured like the opening composition, complete with toe-tapping, catchy build-ups to non-existent crescendos, which leaves the listener with an anti-climactic hunger for more.
Here Comes the Zoo does tease us with small samples of the artistic zeal Lucas had developed before things went loose in 1998, particularly on “Fifth Ave. Crazy”, where both the female chorus and wailing guitar serve as hooks, and with the catchy pop-rock chorus on “(Baby Wants To) Tame Me”. Lucas has stayed true to the persona that brought him success, with screaming vocals, hard guitars and even harder drum beats throughout the album.
Unfortunately, the album as whole fails to achieve the high expectations you can hear it setting for itself. No doubt the professional and personal disruption Lucas endured has affected his abilities, and perhaps his two-man structure no longer has enough synergistic energy to fuel his creativity. But here’s for trying things on your own terms, hopefully next time it produces better results. 02-Sep-2002 8:40 PM