Alternative rock mainstays Local H are releasing a new album called LIFERS later this year, their ninth studio album that comes in on – believe it or not – the band’s 30th anniversary. The record features mixing from J. Robbins, production from Steve Albini and Andy Gerber, guests like Juliana Hatfield and John McCauley of Deer Tick, and should be out in April 2020. Today we’ve got the premiere of their churning, guitar-heavy first single from the album, “Turn The Bow.” The song starts with a humming opening riff that transitions into an open mix that allows Scott Lucas’s vocals to take the center stage.
The album was inspired initially by The Beatles’ White Album. That seminal double-album caught the attention of the band when it was re-released a few years ago.
“When that re-release of the White Album came out a few years ago, I became re-obsessed with that record,” said Lucas. “One of the things that really hit me about it (this time) was how it’s not really a concept record — but it feels like a concept record. Aside from a few tracks, it doesn’t really get into specifics, but listening to it, you definitely get a feel for the times in which it was released. But listen to it today — and it’s still apropos. It’s fucking timeless. It’s this beautiful paradox. I wanted to do that with our record. Sort of reflect this moment of chaos that the entire world appears to be caught up in, but at the same time, make a record that wouldn’t have to remain tethered to this particular point in time. This might be a record about the end of the world. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s just be a party record with loud guitars and cowbells. Totally up to you, I suppose.”
LIFERS takes its name from White Album influences as well as the decades of dedication of the band, particularly its longest-tenured member Lucas. Three decades in the grueling alternative rock scene has certainly earned the band the moniker “LIFERS.”
“Another thing that totally strikes me about the White Album is how fractured it feels — and trying to emulate THAT is how we stumbled upon the real theme of this record: LIFERS,” said Lucas. “In addition to working with our longtime producer/collaborator Andy Gerber at Million Yen in Chicago, we decided the best way to get that fractured feeling would be to open the circle and work at different studios with different engineers. This led us to doing an acoustic session at Pachyderm in Minnesota. This also led us back to Chicago to do a couple of days at Electrical Audio with Steve Albini — someone we’ve always admired, but never worked with.”
“Continuing in this vein, we asked friends of ours to do guest spots on the record. Friends like Juliana Hatfield, John McCauley (Deer Tick) and John Haggerty (Naked Raygun/Pegboy). To make sense of all of this, we tapped the mighty J. Robbins (Jawbox/Burning Airlines) to mix (never worked with him, either). It was only after J. started mixing that we realized all of these people are lifelong inspirations to us. Aside from the great fucking music they’ve been responsible for, they’ve conducted themselves with an integrity and conviction that anyone could aspire to. Not one of them was ever in it to chase after the money or the fame. Whether it’s a love of music, or just a kind of addiction, they’ve made a life out of making and performing music and they do it for their own reasons. There’s a word for that. Added to all of it, we knew this record would be released in April —which happens to be the month that marks the 30th anniversary of our first show. This is band is 30! Shit. What choice did we have? We had to call the record LIFERS.”