I know. Local H again? Yes, Local H again. I did say that if I could help it, if it fits with whatever subject I may be covering at the time, if I can fit Local H in there somehow, I will. Anyone who’s a Local H fan will tell you that the band is known for their cover songs almost as much as they’re known for their own original material. Back in October when I interviewed Local H mastermind, Mr. Scott Lucas , it was to Local H’s version of Rush‘s 1976 “2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx” that I was hyping myself up with before said interview. I am NOT a Rush fan (sorry Scott). Maybe it’s Geddy Lee‘s voice that I just can’t stand, maybe it’s because I feel that Rush is more than just a little overrated; whatever it might be, I’m just not crazy about Rush, BUT, it was on December 21, 2012 that I realized that I did like a Rush song. Local H dropped the single, “2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx” on that day (2112, get it?)
I think Scott Lucas knows what the hell he’s doing.
Local H has always had this uncanny ability to release these amazing cover versions to songs whose originals I could care less about. Scott Lucas can take a song and just make it his own, and by make it his own, I do mean make it a bazillion times better. Is it the distortion? Is it that Local H could do no wrong in my eyes? I don’t know. It could be both. Hell, Local H even released an EP back in October 2011 of nothing but covers (Local H’s Awesome Mix Tape #1), so yeah, I think Scott Lucas knows what the hell he’s doing. For this edition of Got You Cover’d, we’ll be taking a look at the Top 5 Songs Made Better by Local H. Let’s begin, shall we?
# 5 • “Toxic” (2005)
On September 13, 2005, Local H released their first live record, Alive ’05. Local H is known for their live shows and I can attest to that having seen them live more than any other band that frequents New York. Alive ’05 is great because not only does it bring the live Local H experience blaring through your speakers, it’s also memorable for ending with the studio version of “Toxic“. I was expecting to hear Britney Spears when I purchased the album, but hell, I was game. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve gotten down to Britney here and there. Haters can hate, but the fact remains, Britney Spears has come out with some pretty great pop songs, with “Toxic” being just one of them. Local H’s version of “Toxic” was a great surprise because it where it remained faithful to the original, Local H elevated it up a notch because they were able to replicate the song with its many nuances and they completely rocked it out.
# 4 • “Tame” (1999)
Who doesn’t love The Pixies, right? If you’re a true Pixies fan, then your knowledge of the band surely goes beyond “Where Is My Mind? ” and if it does, good for you! Back in 1999, Local H was part of a Pixies tribute album titled, Where Is My Mind: A Tribute to the Pixies. This cover will forever stick out in my mind because Lucas was really able to showcase his signature wail and oh, how sweet his wail is on this track. I wouldn’t be surprised if Black Francis teared up when he was listening to this one (I would have. It’s just so… so fucking good.) Local H delivers balls out aggression and for those two minutes and two seconds of the song’s duration, you’re raging along with Scott.
# 3 • “Wolf Like Me” (2010)
The crashing feedback was like music to my ears.
TV On The Radio was not a band that was on my musical radar when I first heard “Wolf Like Me” for the first time on Local H’s Awesome Mix Tape #1. The crashing feedback was like music to my ears. The driving guitar and skin bashing by former Local H drummer, Brian St. Clair, was enough to make me a TV On The Radio convert; something that would not have happened had it not been for Local H’s version of the song. “Wolf Like Me” is off of TV On The Radio’s sophomore album, Return to Cookie Mountain. TV On The Radio, as I would come to find out, hail from my neck of the woods of Brooklyn, New York. It was the version by these sons of Chi-beria that turned me on to my Brooklyn brethren. Try figuring that one out.
# 2 • “2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx” (2012)
Here we go again with the feedback that if it were anybody else, would surely be a nuisance. Not if you’re Scott Lucas though. Scott Lucas has mastered the use of feedback to his benefit. Whereas Rush opened “2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx” with some synthesizers, Lucas achieves the same kind of feel but with the use of guitar feedback, thus adding to the power that was to come after the 1:05 of feedback that we’re greeted with in the beginning of the track. At 1:48, the song really kicks in with St. Clair’s driving drum beat and what can I say? For seven minutes and eleven seconds, Local H have made me a Rush fan. Local H’s “2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx” gives someone like me the jolt I need from my rock fix. I’m proud to say that I gave myself whiplash the first time I played this one at high volume.
# 1 • “Team” (2014)
I don’t know if you guys have been paying attention, but Lorde is more than a little hot right now. I first took notice of the artist known as Lorde thanks to radio and their overplaying of her single, “Royals“, and just like that, I was completely off of Lorde and it wasn’t even her fault. I blame Clear Channel. Fast forward to this past March; rumor had it that Local H was covering a Lorde song. Well hello again. Local H covers Lorde? Well, why not? Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen had already covered the song, so I figured, you know, Local H could only make this song better, because Springsteen’s version is not very good at all, so if anyone could do it, Local H have already proven more than once that they could. That is until Scott Lucas confirmed that he would not be covering “Royals“. This was going to be another Lorde song. Another Lorde song? That song? “Team“. The fact that Local H was going against the trend and covering a Lorde song that was NOT “Royals” was enough to peak my interest. I didn’t know what Lorde’s “Team” sounded like and I was not in a rush to find out. No, I was going to wait until Local H released their version before I allowed myself to compare and contrast. As it were, on April 13, Scott released the music video for “Team“.
Along with being a new single for the forthcoming Local H’s Awesome Mix Tape # 2, it was also the first studio recording with brand new skin basher, Mr. Ryan Harding. What a debut! Ryan brings the power to mesh with Lucas’ rock power and what you got was Local H’s distortion happy, rock monster that is their version of “Team“. Local H’s “Team” is so far removed from Lorde’s version, but, as is commonplace with Local H and as I’ve already stated, Scott takes a song, any song and makes it his own. “Team” is not the exception, it’s the rule. Lorde might have written the song about her home of Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand, but when Scott Lucas took the song over, upon hearing it; one could not help but envision that he was singing about his hometown of Zion, Illinois and that it somehow fit just as perfectly as it had when Lorde first released the song. I eventually did hear Lorde’s version of “Team” and you know what? It wasn’t half bad. Local H added to an already good song and made it great.
I believe that Scott Lucas is incapable of releasing a cover song that is any less than above par. Whether it’s with Local H or with his solo band, Scott Lucas and the Married Men, 110% is what one can expect from the man. Speaking of Scott Lucas and the Married Men, the band released two cover songs that deserve honorable mention because they’re pretty bad ass. Back in 2012, SLAMM released their version of “Ain’t No Grave (Gonna Hold My Body Down)” (“Ain’t No Grave” was first written and recorded by Brother Ely in 1923, but it found renewed popularity when it was posthumously released by the Man In Black, Johnny Cash for his album, American VI: Ain’t No Grave, in 2010.) In 2013, Scott Lucas and the Married Men released The Cruel Summer EP covering what? You guessed it; Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer“. People will come along, think they can cover someone else’s material and believe that they can do it justice. Sometimes it’s a success, and sometimes it’s a major fail. Local H has never failed me and I don’t foresee that they ever will. They’re just too damn good at what they do, and lucky us that Local H exist in this world so music can continue to be as good as it can possibly be. Rock may rule, but it’s a band like Local H that keeps the genre fruitful and alive, and for that I will be forever thankful.
Want more Local H/Scott Lucas and the Married Men? Of course you do! Please feel free to get your fix at the following places:
To purchase Local H’s latest single, “Team“, you can hook yourselves up right here.