Local H – Ham Fisted – Review

Local H

Ham Fisted (Island)
by Chaz Thorndike

Admission: I missed their show at Local 186. I’m bummed ’cause I wanted to see how two guys can jam this hard and this loud. With only one exception (that I’ll go into later), every song has a fat and fuzzy, heavy guitar groove and pounding beats. From song one, they literally tear out of your speakers and scream, “Like me or hate me, you ain’t gonna ignore me!” I like that. I also thought the chorus was “I just want to be like Chaz” which I thought was very nice of them. When I later discovered the lyric was “I just want a feed I can trust” I wasn’t too let down.

The song “Cynic” scares the shit out of me because it sounds like Jon Bon Jovi with balls. Can’t picture it? Me neither, obscure reference, sorry. “Mayonnaise and Malaise” is just the coolest song title and a finger-snapping, radio-friendly gem at that. There’s some definite Cobain influence in the pissy, lo-fi grrr pop screamers.

These two guys from the metropolis of Zion, Illinois churn out some post-grunge rock with catchy melodies strewn about like keg cups after a beer blast. The dozen tunes on Ham Fisted (Island) slide from power rock to chill dirge to the final track, the acoustic love ballad-thing called “Grrrlfriend.” He laments, “I’m in love with a riot grrl/I’m a boy and I know that that’s bad/I don’t see what’s got her so mad/I’m not dumb, I’ve got my eyes tight on/I’ve seen her ‘zine and I think it’s right on/I don’t care if she makes me be quiet/I’m in love and I think it’s a riot.”