These smart-assed Chicagoans peaked early with “Bound for the Floor,” their 1996 post-grunge hit about keeping it copacetic. But if Local H’s commercial fortunes have dwindled, their ideas have only gotten bigger: Hallelujah! I’m a Bum is the guitar-and-drums duo’s second concept album in a row, following 2008’s breakup procedural, Twelve Angry Months. Here frontman Scott Lucas tackles the polarized political scene in crunchy riff-rock jams full of Windy City references; in “Blue Line,” a ride on public transit inspires thoughts on how “it’s getting hard to realize a sense of self in other eyes.” Heaviness (in both senses) abounds. MIKAEL WOOD
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