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White Trash Heroes (Deluxe Edition)

Archers of Loaf

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Album Review

The final studio record from the Archers of Loaf is a far cry from their early days of fast, dirty, and unrelenting indie rock anthems, but it is also a phenomenally progressive album for the band, as well as a fitting swan song. The opening, "Fashion Bleeds," is the closest the band comes to its days of yore, with a chugging drumbeat and vocalist Eric Bachmann's strained vocals leading the way. The presence of a keyboard that soon starts to drift in sets the tone for the rest of the record, a dark and moody venture with some unexpected styles emanating from the group. They still get raucous and loud on occasion, but sometimes they mask it under a wave of distorted sounds, or in the guise of a slowed-down dirge. The closing title track is also of note, in that its sinister keyboard and drum machine sounds, along with Bachmann's oddly throaty and melodic vocals, are exactly what the singer went on to do with his next group, Crooked Fingers. In fact, White Trash Heroes sounds more like a mix of the two groups than an actual Archers record, a fact that anyone familiar with the latter group will certainly realize to be a good thing. This is certainly not the simple and sloppy indie rock outfit that churned out short poppy hits in the mid-'90s, but the band clearly developed into something equally astounding and, with a few listens, the emotion and craftsmanship of these songs prove to be a truly impressive feat. [The album was fully remastered by Bob Weston and reissued by Merge in 2012, and featured a reimagined cover, as well as a second disc of four-track demos and B-sides.] ~ Peter J. D'Angelo, Rovi

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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White Trash Heroes (Deluxe Edition), Archers of Loaf
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