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Vee Vee (Remastered)

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Album Review

After the release of their classic debut, Icky Mettle, and the excellent follow-up EP Vs the Greatest of All Time, it was clear that Archers of Loaf were a band that had hit the ground running and never seemed likely to stop. On Vee Vee, the second full-length offering from the Chapel Hill indie innovators, the band deftly avoids anything even resembling a sophomore slump by returning with a kind of gnarly ferocity, which the quartet uses to great effect as it bangs and bashes its way through an album of beautifully misshapen and unpolished indie rock. Armed with nothing more than some ugly guitar chords, big ideas, and a brash attitude, Archers of Loaf make the bold move of using the album to bang more dents into their sound rather than refining it. While this would be a step backward for anyone else, the band has a talent for effortlessly making the unpolished seem charming as it bashes its way through tracks like "Nostalgia" and "The Worst Has Yet to Come." Songs like these, as well as the quintessential (and more or less perfect) '90s jam "Harnessed in Slums," found Archers of Loaf proving time and time again that what really matters in music is heart, sweat, and grit, and that if you have those on your side, everything else just kind of falls into place. [This edition of the album, reissued by Merge in 2012, features a reimagined cover by artist Jay Ryan, as well as a second disc of singles, cover songs, and other previously unreleased material.]

Biography

Formed: 1991 in Chapel Hill, NC

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '10s

The Archers of Loaf were darlings of the indie world in the early to mid-'90s, thanks to an off-kilter sound that was edgy and challenging, yet melodically accessible at the same time. Cornerstones of the Chapel Hill, NC, indie scene that also spawned Superchunk and Polvo, the Archers' chief inspirations were the Replacements and Sonic Youth, but that only began to tell the story. Their music was frequently likened to a more intense, raucous version of Pavement's postmodern pop, and indeed they shared...
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