Archers of Loaf: Icky Mettle (Remastered)

Categories: Review Roundup

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Archers of Loaf - Icky Mettle
​It's a rather, let's say, quaint day for new releases, so that's why I've decided to go ahead and take a look at the reissue of the influential 1993 Archers of Loaf debut album Icky Mettle. The Chapel Hill, North Carolina band played their first show in 13 years this past January, helping complete the reunion with the reissue of Icky Mettle -- complete with a bonus disc of 14 songs. Among those songs on the extra disc are b-sides from the band, including the band's first ever single and various 7" versions of some of the bands more popular songs.

Icky Mettle stands the test of time incredibly well, due in large part to its massive influence -- as well as the fact it was released in the also influential year of 1993. Sure, other bigger name bands like Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins had their own ground-breaking albums from that same year, but there's an inexplicable charm to what Archers of Loaf were creating with their own rock music.

What the critics are saying:

Spin: 1993's Icky Mettle -- an album of boyish fits and noisy guitar flurries -- plays like the end of an era. It's indie rock as hearty and art-free as oatmeal, before the line separating it from the mainstream dissolved, before it became so...eclectic.

Allmusic: [H]ere's a two-guitar quartet that takes a normal starting point -- whirling, loud, harsh guitar pop with an unpredictable edge -- and adds a bawling, full-throated vocalist named Eric Bachmann, who himself sounds like he's been singing all night and his voice is a little sore.

Blogcritics: In other words, Icky Mettle became an instant classic, and therefore, this collective consequently built up for itself a big underground following and an undeniable influence on other indie rock bands for years to come.

Pitchfork: This self-fulfilling fatalism is at the heart of innumerable rock songs by innumerable bitter young men, but it is rarely expressed with the introspective clarity that Bachmann displays throughout Icky Mettle.

Icky Mettle (Remastered) is out now via Merge.

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2 comments
Brad Corson
Brad Corson

been waiting a long time for them to get back together. wonder if we'll ever get new material.

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