Wednesday 2 November 2011

Archers Of Loaf: Icky Mettle

Icky Mettle, Archers Of Loaf’s first album from 1993, is being reissued in the UK. Yeah, it did get reissued earlier this year in the US by a different label. The music industry dances to its own tune.

Whatever year or country you’re looking at Icky Mettle from, though, it sounds great. It’s full of angry noise from the harDCore scene, it’s got that skewed post-punk thing going on that Pavement were doing, it’s got catchy college rock riffs and it thankfully had fuck all to do with grunge.

Icky Mettle is in parts classic, in places wonderfully stupid and always fizzing with energy. There’s waspish bitterness on the anthemic Web In Front ("you're not the one who let me down/but thanks for offering"); snappy wisdom on my favourite track Plumb Line ("you can blame on your hat the thoughts in your head"); and total psychotic delirium on Toast, in which nothing but noise happens for three-and-a-half minutes until the scream THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH MY TOAST.
Archers Of Loaf - Web In Front by FIRE RECORDS

They’re playing at Cargo on December 11. And there’s a press release for those of you who like even more facts:

‘Icky Mettle' (deluxe edition)' remastered and reissued
on Fire Records on December 5th 2011

Fire Records will reissue all four Archers of Loaf studio albums, starting with their acclaimed 1993 debut album 'Icky Mettle'. Re-mastered by Bob Weston and featuring new liner notes by Robert Christgau, Icky Mettle will come with bonus material (packaged as a second disc with CD, and double LP) including the entire Archers of Loaf vs. The Greatest of All Time EP as well as singles and b-sides from the Icky Mettle era. This special 'Deluxe Edition' will be available on 2xCD, 2xvinyl and digital download.

Their last studio album was released in 1998 and since then Eric Bachmann (vocals/guitar) has pursued work in Crooked Fingers. After lying low for 13 years Bachmann, Eric Johnson (guitar), Matt Jentling (bass) and Mark Price (drums) began rehearsing again in 2010 and went on to test the water with some live dates earlier this year. Picking up right where they left off Archers of Loaf's well received performances asserted that their noisy lo-fi indie had been sorely missed.

With the recent resurgence of lo-fi-Indie-watchimacallit bands, it has never been so relevant to unearth these early recordings from Archers of Loaf, who embraced similar do-it-yourself ethics to such astounding effect. The track "Web in Front" earned the band a spot on the 'Pitchfork 500', a list which compiles the website's favourite songs from 1977 to 2006 and whose recent review awarded 'Icky Mettle (Deluxe Edition)' with best new reissue and an unprecedented 9 out of 10.

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