The title of the fourth song on Local H's third album sums up the spirit of the release: "Hit the Skids, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Rock." Ever since its emergence on the hard rock scene four years ago, the band has been lambasted for blatantly mimicking Nirvana. At first Local H resented such criticism, but now they've stopped worrying and learned to simply rock. Pack Up the Cats is the band's finest offering by far, matching the energy and volume of past releases but incorporating stronger melodies and hooks than in the past. The first single, "All the Kids Are Right," starts like a drawling Everclear ballad, then launches into a soaring chorus straight from the Oasis songbook. Other tracks, such as "Cha! Said the Kitty" and "What Can I Tell You," are less original but equally appealing. These cats have finally come of age. --Jon Wiederhorn
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The best album by the most unabashed ROCK band ever.
Luke Rounda | Lawrence, KS | 09/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The soundtrack of youthful aggression." That's rock music right there, and if a story of meteoric rise to fame followed by a harrowing plummet into obscurity and disintegration doesn't strike you as rock 'n' roll, you probably still listen to Michael Bolton.
Grimly prophetic -- "Pack Up the Cats" could have been Local H's breakout record, but hopes were dashed by corporate tomfoolery, and a lack of promotion sent these cats packing back to Illinois to regroup -- this is the H's best record to date, no contest.
Stack it next to "Dark Side of the Moon" -- "Pack Up the Cats" is among the greatest concept albums ever made. It's that simple. The songs bleed into one another via unexpected bursts of guitar squelch, recorded phone conversation, and other bits of found sound that add to the cohesively unusual feel of this album. It's something familiar and far out at the same time.
Tracks like "She Hates My Job" are enhanced by simple yet expertly placed blues slide guitar, and there are a couple riffs, such as the opening electric guitar hit of "Fine and Good," that rank among the best moments in rock guitar for sheer head-nodding power.
Even transition pieces, like the slow burning "Stoney," which takes on a cool, sinister vibe before seguing into the Sex Pistols-by-way-of-"Back in the USSR" clang of "Laminate Man," are, for once, an indispensible component of this album. Rather than mere throwaway "breaks," they're an integral part of what ends up being one long and excellent song. Once the brazen whollop of "All Right (Oh Yeah)" hits your ears, you'll be hard-pressed to want to turn this record off."
A Well-Produced Album
Joseph Schlegel | Provo, UT USA | 11/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Local H extended their versatility with this album. With "Hamfisted" they proved they could rock hard; with "As Good As Dead" they demonstrated their ability to write some very catchy tunes. With this album, "Pack up the Cats," they exceeded all expectations. Due to this masterpiece of their career, I tend to dislike any of Local H's later works. This album is simply unable to be outdone.
Each song on this album is perfectly placed in a sequence that evokes dynamic emotions that greatly enhance the effect of each song on the listener. Sound effects such as cats meowing are utilized, but not overused, to tie the songs together; many times the tracks have changed without the listener knowing it. The focus is put on the album as a whole, and not on any specific 'singles' as is so prevalent with the popular artists of today.
And yet this album rocks hard as well. The listeners who appreciated "Hamfisted" will enjoy the opening track with the lyrics "All right, Oh yeah" repeated to the constant thump of the beat. For the listeners who prefer the poppy singles of "As Good As Dead," meshed in amongst the wonders of the album are gems such as "All the Kids are Right," and "Fine and Good."
Every song on this album is wonderful in its own right; the amazing feat of this album is not that it is a pleasure to listen to the songs, but that it is possible to listen to it over and over again, without any desire to remove it from your player."