Not sure what to expect when the new album by the Lonely H, entitled Hair, found its way into my mailbox, I decided to take it for the proverbial spin in my stereo. From the moment the play button was pushed, though, it is fair to say that while it wasn’t anything like what my ears might have been expecting, it’s what they’ve been craving.
Being a fan of rock music from the seventies, Hair drew me instantly into attentiveness. Filled with lush guitar hooks, vocals, and melodies that ebb and sway and sometimes flood over and crash into your eardrums as if a sonic wave upon the shore of consciousness, it’s almost as if it were one of the better records that seventies bands would have died to have recorded.
Luckily for those of us hungering for there to be substance in today’s music scene, the Lonely H are not one of the seventies. Hell, they weren’t even a gleam in their parent’s flirtatious eyes in the seventies; their first album, Kick Upstairs, was released in 2006 when the average age of the guys in the band — Colin Field (guitar), Johnny Whitman (bass), Eric Whitman (guitar), Mark Fredson (vocals, keyboards) and Ben Eyestone (drums) — was only 16.
At 16 I think I was busy trying to offer my father new and exciting excuses about why I’d forgotten (again) to mow the now one-foot-tall-and-rising grass in our yard. Sheesh.
Of course, if nobody ever mentioned that fact to you, you’d never know it by the music on Hair, their sophomore release. From the lovely way the opening track, “Just Don’t Know” slithers out from your speakers drenched in southern-styled harmonies, the delicate guitar work and vocal harmonies that allows “Rollin” to have become my favorite song of not only this album but perhaps of any album I’ve listened to this year, the feisty punch of the title track as it seethes with energy that would have made Thin Lizzy proud, or the funky keyboards that ride along with the groove of “Say Your Prayers,” Hair is just a great album.