Rather light week for new releases, so we elected to highlight two reissues from venerable indie rock band Archers of Loaf. After successful reissues of their classic Icky Mettle and the almost-as-awesome Vee Vee, Merge Records wraps up their deluxe reissue campaign with All the Nation’s Airports and White Trash Heroes.
This North Carolina band formed in 1991 and took off where hardcore bands like Hüsker Dü left off. They don’t make gritty, gnarly vocalists like Eric Bachmann anymore, and the slower tempos of All the Nation’s Airports highlight a maturing voice that could do more than just holler. It’s also not hard to see the ways in which the band influenced Les Savy Fav, The Murder City Devils and many others. I’m guilty of never giving this album its due because I always reach for Icky Mettle, but I’ve been missing out.
The band almost broke up before recording their swan song White Trash Heroes. And, usually, the downfall of a great rock band can be pinpointed to the exact moment they start using a keyboard. This particular album traverses a wide array of musical ground and features a few gems like the rollicking “I.N.S.” and the slow burning “Perfect Time.” The album’s lack of consistency is charming, but it also has all the imperfect makings of a breakup album.
Each of the releases feature demos and rarities culled from sought-after collectible seven inches. Hear “All The Nation’s Airports” and “I.N.S.” below.
Each week music editor Jeremiah Griffey handpicks a few “Geek Approved” releases to highlight.