There is no better inspiration for artistic expression than love lost. Everyone can easily relate to the raw feelings of being done wrong.
I’m not sure what went on in the personal lives of the guys in Local H recently, but whatever it was, it was bad. But from the very bad comes the very good Twelve Angry Months.
The two man band of Local H take the listener through twelve tracks of, presumably, twelve months of processing the end of a relationship. There’s dark humor, there’s anger, there’s bitterness, and there’s the minutia that we all go through during the end of a long term relationship. The album drew me in from the first track, entitled January, The One With “Kid.” It’s a ditty in which the protagonist is trying to get some of his music back:
Give me my Zeppelin CDs
You know you took ‘em, I know you did
Where’s my Pretenders record
You know the one, the one with “Kid”
Where’s all my AC/DCs
My Interpol, my Libertines
Where’s all my Kyuss records
You never liked ‘em until you met me
Sensations, frustrations, barbed wire for coronations
My “Heart of Glass” 12-inch is scratched
No matter what it’s costing
Make sure you leave with nothing
Won’t stand and watch you gut our home
When I was separating from my first husband, we had to take an entire afternoon to untangle our massive cd collection. I remember the day well- it was a sunny, warm, late spring day. There were stacks of discs everywhere. There was a tussle over Collective Soul’s Dosage. Lordy. Was that really necessary? We were cordial at the beginning of the afternoon, but by the end of the day, I was getting Neil Young discs shoved at me.
Of course, that was the first of many afternoons of splitting items. But there was something about the music that, if you’ll pardon the pun, really hit a chord. I remember looking wistfully at The Best of Booker T and the MG’s, thinking about how we’d put that on as background music whenever people came over. Yah, not anymore. That disc didn’t end up in the Lisa box. But of course, I never liked ‘em till I met him, so…it wasn’t mine to take.
So, Local H took me back to that June afternoon in 1999. They took me back to other places, other breakups, other times, in other tracks. There’s the undercurrent of hurt in the heavy guitars. There’s a snarkiness that I especially appreciate. There’s hope and loss. The Big Album about heartache in 2008, Kanye West’s 808’s and Heartbreaks* did this too, but there’s something more contemplative about Local H’s approach. And, they’re actually singing fairly well, which I really appreciate.
I’m featuring this album in the inaugural post of “Musical Mondays” because I like it, and I’m pretty sure most folks missed it in 2008.
*For the record, I love Kanye’s latest album. But it’s so raw, I’ve only been able to listen to it about three times all the way through. I hurt for the man. He had a rough year.