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Pack Up the Cats

4.7 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 1, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

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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

Review

...[Vocalist Scott Lucas] ... cranks out the best crunchy guitar licks since Cheap Trick's heyday. -- Entertainment Weekly
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 1, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B00000AFAZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,221 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Featuring Lonnie Smith on the Organ, Idris Muhammad on Drums, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, and a young George Benson on guitar and recorded in '68, Midnight Creeper was one among a handful of albums w/ funky crossover tracks that Bluesy Charlie Parker disciple Lou Donaldson recorded in the late '60s. - - While Blue Note co-habitant Horace Silver and Riverside rival Cannonball Adderly explored the "straighter" sides of gospelly soul Jazz, it was the likes of Herbie Mann, Lou Donaldson and an entire school of Donaldson disciples like Big John Patton, Grant Green, Reuben Wilson and Lonnie Smith who all out embraced the James Brown school of funk, often taking the timeless 12 bar blues tradition of the B-3 (as interpreted by the likes of Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff and Jimmy McGriff) and adding a latin tinged funk beat known as Boogaloo - - the rest is history.
Tunes on this album start with Midnight Creeper, built on Donaldson's famous Alligator Boogaloo format (which he claims was just nothing but a 12 bar blues with a good name !), the groovy yet gospelly Love Power, the Mellow and Jazzy Elizabeth, the Lonnie Smithish funkfest Bag of Jewels (if you dig it, check out Lonnie Smith's LIVE AT CLUB MOZAMBIQUE, MOVE YOUR HAND, as well as the music of Leon Spencer) and finally a funky blues grind 'n shuffle called Daper Dan.
Today a young generation of organists such as Adam Scone and Soulive have made efforts to pick up on this distinctly funky Blue Note sound, yet I'm sure you'll agree after getting wiped away by this classic soul Jazz recording, the Turbonator and Sweet Poppa will never be out done.
(P.S. If you're surprized to hear this young incarnation of George Benson giving Melvin Sparks a run for his money, check him out on the late great Jack McDuff's LIVE circa 1963 !)
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By A Customer on October 2, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is a surprisingly great CD, in part because it's all blended together like one giant song. This is one of the few CDs that does a good job of this, and you can't help but listen to the entire CD over and over. The lyrics to 'All the Kids are Right' are great, and every song on here is catchy. Forget drab monotonous garbage like Blink 182 and Lit and the pre-pubescent sound of Korn, Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit et al... Pack Up The Cats is a REAL rock album.
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Format: Audio CD
"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.
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Format: Audio CD
This is my fave Lou Donaldson disc, but not because of Lou (who's playing is so ultimately relaxed here that it almost falls off of Rudy Van Gelder's tape). For me, the album is really all about Lonnie Smith. On this particular session he was at his grooviest, peeling off one tasty riff after another. His cool yet smokin' touch on the B3 keeps everyone on track and in like-minded fashion. The underrated Blue Mitchell plays it from the soul this time around, all slippery funk/blues. It's also nice to have George Benson on board whipping up some classy licks of his own. Along with Idris Muhammad's understated beat, the entire crew is just so very locked into the mode that this short(36:10) but killer album is the very definition of "Blue Note Rare Groove". The tune "Bag of Jewels" really lives up to it's name, a groovy little track that is straight outa '68. Dig it!
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Format: Audio CD
Great party record. LOCAL H rocks with a spirited enthusiasm that hits the mark by not taking themselves as seriously as they take their music. This album is chock full of hard kicking beats, crunchy guitars, and good, clean hook. Cool band and a great recording that plays well (and LOUD) on fridays at quitting time.
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Format: Audio CD
Long, long ago, for no real reason, I decided to purchase this CD by Local H. At my first listening, I was dumbfounded. I thought,"Hmm, this is odd. No real singles except for 'All the kids are Right'. I think I'll ignore it." But, after many listenings, and a few years of evolution in my musical taste, I realized that I love this CD. Its one of the only CDs I've ever sat down and listened to, straight through, without doing anything else; I have a very short attention span, though I love music, and its rare that I can do such a thing. But that's what this CD is all about. Each track flows into the next, and some re-appear later in the disc for a brief moment before or after another track; you can hear several similar tones and riffs flowing into other songs. I think its just one long story about a man's journey into and out of Super Rock-Stardom. It don't matter, anyway. Each track is so unique and yet tied to previous ones. Tracks like, "Lucky" and "Lucky Time" relate very strongly, and yet they say something different about how the guy feels and all. There's a lot of strange variation in the background music; you can listen to the background of, "How I learned..." and hear all kinds of great stuff: Crazy beepings, muted covnersation, etc. Simply put, this CD is really awesome. In a time when artists are known for their singles, this album makes you really listen to what an experimental rock album can sound like with a little creativity. Word of Warning: "As Good As Dead" is not nearly as artistic.
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Whooooooo Midnight Creeper
Nearly seven years later and still an issue. Way to go Amazon!
Jun 2, 2013 by Andy |  See all 2 posts
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