Chicago rock duo Local H will skip the concept and go right for the rock on their upcoming album, the follow-up to 1998's acclaimed Pack Up the Cats.
Unlike their previous effort, a concept album chronicling the experiences of a small-town boy who moves to the big city to pursue his musical interests, Local H's new record will consist of 10 straight-up rock songs, according to singer/guitarist Scott Lucas.
"We have about 25 new songs," Lucas said. "But I only want to have 10 on the record. It's taken so long [between albums] I just want to get it done."
Lucas and former Triple Fast Action drummer Brian St. Clair, who replaced Joe Daniels in 1999, will head into a studio in March to record the album. The duo are in negotiations with several big-name producers, Lucas said.
Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, Cheap Trick) was behind the boards on Pack Up the Cats, which received rave reviews. But it was released the same week of the Seagram merger and was poorly promoted by Island Records, according to Lucas.
Local H spent two years searching for a new label before landing in December at Palm Pictures, former Island head Chris Blackwell's film and music company. Palm Pictures' roster includes "Sundown" singer Elwood and dance acts Supreme Beings of Leisure, Dieselboy and Mocean Worker.
The new Local H album will likely include "No Fun," "Cooler Heads" and "Baby Wants to Tame Me," new tracks the band has played at recent Chicago shows. The album is not yet titled, but Lucas shared a list of possibilities that included Local H and All That Implies, Go Bananas, Shove It, Earth Swell and Kick It Where It Counts. Lucas said he expects the album to be released in late summer or early fall.
Originally from suburban Zion, Illinois, Local H released their major label debut, Ham Fisted, in 1995, but it was 1996's As Good As Dead, which featured the singles "Bound for the Floor," "Eddie Vedder" and "High-Fiving MF," that gained the group a national fanbase.
Local H were last heard covering "Tame," on 1999's Where Is My Mind? A Tribute to the Pixies (see "Local H Cuts Track For Pixies Tribute, Plans Tour With Fuel").