It takes about a half-minute to get into the groove, but Lonely H starts off “Kick Upstairs” with a track that frankly recalls Rivers Cuomo’s vocals with a style of rock that seems more fitting for the seventies than the current period. In a sense, there seems to be a concerted effort to recall the retro type sound of nineties alternative rock with songs like “Marmalade Sky”, as the track links acts like Polaris and the aforementioned Weezer with Soul Asylum.
The incorporation of a barely audible synthesizer to “Don’t Worry” is just what the track needs to have a full sound and the proper amount of stability into what is a very chaotic track. “Time” is a track that moves further past the Weezer-like sound that is present through much of the music on “Kick Upstairs” and goes back to late-eighties Cure; this could even be a track on “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me”. Just wait a few more minutes, and “Lullaby Time” takes tremendously large nods from both Barbershop and the Beach Boys; the track is done with a smartness that really does not let the track become dated. With each subsequent track showing a different set of influences, the only thing that really becomes a problem for Lonely H is that they do not really come up with their own sound after the first few tracks. For example, “Draconius” mixes together The Pixies with Franz Ferdinand.
While the track may ultimately be radio friendly, there needs to be a more concerted effort to introduce listeners to Lonely H, instead of those artists that influence the act. I believe that listeners begin to get an idea of the band by the time that “Ken” starts out, which still have the Cuomo-like vocals but with a little more intensity than anything else that Weezer put out. This sound is further expounded upon with “Electric Change”; the vocals really take the driver’s seat even as the guitars come through indie and rockabilly filters. Even if listeners do not get a chance to listen to the full CD, the second half of “Kick Upstairs” is exactly what listeners should focus in on. Lonely H’s voice is actually given some airtime after the band moves away from such a blatant homage to their influences. Still, a bevy of good music is to be found on this album, so give it a shot; “Electric Change” comes in the same style as Ben Folds and will be good of a track as any to first introduce a listener to Lonely H.
Top Tracks: Electric Change, Marmalade Sky
Lonely H – Kick Upstairs / 2006 The Control Group / 10 Tracks / http://www.thelonelyh.com / http://www.controlgroupco.com / Reviewed 22 January 2006