Local H – The No Fun EP
Thick Records (2003)
By Graham Isaac
First off, though the titles of this EP and and its first track are both “No Fun,” neither Iggy nor the Stooges make an appearance. Second, despite the lack of Iggy (a detriment to any album), this six song disc from Chicago duo Local H is a lot of fun – asses are kicked, names are taken and quarter denied.
Like the Stooges, ‘No Fun is raw and dirty, standing in stark contrast to the slicker, classic-rocky production of Local H’s last two albums, Pack Up the Cats (where it worked) and last year’s Here Comes the Zoo (meh, not so much.)
Here, raw proves to be the best possible course of action. Singer/guitarist Scott Lucas screams himself hoarse over feedbacking guitars while Brian St Clair smacks the drums like a redheaded stepchild. The pair split time on three originals and three covers, best of which are The Godfather’s “Birth, School, Work, Death” and a reworking of Primal Scream’s “Fuck Yeah, That Wide” that builds to an EP-closing noise-rock freakout.
The originals are strong as well, with “Cooler Heads” riding a Mudhoney-esque low-end groove and “President Forever” sounding like a punked-up Cheap Trick taking stabs at our commander-in-chief. Why the latter hasn’t attracted attention simply for its volatile subject matter is anyone’s guess; it’s probably one of the better protest songs of the year.
If Local H can harness this energy and apply it to a wider variety of songs, their next album will easily be the best of their career. For now, just crank up the title track’s chorus of “NO FUCKING FUN!!” and soak in the contradiction. Because it really, really is. – (8/10)