The Lonely H, Hair

The Lonely H, Hair

The Pacific Northwest was such a mecca for churning, powerhouse guitar rock in the ’90s that it seemed to have completely switched gears in the following decade. But it didn’t really happen. Watching the likes of Death Cab, Modest Mouse, and Minus the Bear rise in popularity made you think that the old sounds were abandoned outside of Portland and Seattle in favor of more ironic and hyper-articulate touchstones. In actuality, there were fucking rad bands growing up on neglected labels post-Vedder. We’ve recently seen some of the byproducts of that slow burn with bands like Black Mountain and Blitzen Trapper emerging with a big “S” on their respective chests (as in “Sabbath”).

The Lonely H, from Port Angeles, Washington, could be the brightest beacon of them all. For one thing, they are barely out of high school yet nonetheless release an album, Hair, so good you’d think Cameron Crowe is kicking himself right now thinking, “Damn! Why weren’t these guys around when I was putting out Almost Famous?!” This release is chock-full of bad ass shit. My first couple listens brought to mind CSNY-style harmonizing over Ted Nugent guitar screaming. Alternately sad/reflective (“All Hope” and “It’s Not Right”) and triumphant (“The Meal” and “Say Your Prayers”), it brings to mind the best of ’70s radio rock. It’s an album that can find its way from mild winter road trips to raucous bonfires in the woods. It’s an album that will sound good years from now. If Midlake had any balls, this is what they’d be attempting.

The only trouble now will be how do you top it without falling into the traps of excess like so many of those ’70s bands before them (yet still remain fresh and free from self-parody)? Keep on the road, and don’t believe what you’re told.

[The Lonely H is playing 8/14/07 at Super Happy Fun Land, with The Watermarks, Ladyheat, & The Gold Sounds.]
(The Control Group --; The Lonely H --
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Tuesday, August 14th, 2007. Filed under Reviews.

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