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Icky Mettle (Deluxe Edition)

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Album Review

Ah, North Carolina. Can anyone explain why it's been such a hotbed of original-sounding music? Why every year there's a new crop from the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill triangle? Sure, it has lots of colleges, but there's gotta be more to it. Never mind the silly band name and LP title, here'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 (just enough to make him sound like he really means it). Or like Ric Ocasek singing his lungs out for a change, on top of a roaring, screaming loud band. Which means if they're on the same bill with Dillon Fence, DF is the polite, ringing hook band, while these guys are gonna jump-start the keg party. Music to sing to and bounce off the walls to at the same time, with all that Southern quirky dedication and sincerity and congeniality that make us love the place so much. [The Japanese edition boasts a pair of bonus tracks.]

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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Icky Mettle (Deluxe Edition), Archers of Loaf
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