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Icky Mettle

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Audio CD, September 10, 1993
$7.97 $0.24
Audio, Cassette, November 23, 1993
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Archers of Loaf
Vee Vee

On February 21, Merge Records will reissue Archers of Loaf’s sophomore studio album, Vee Vee, on dbl-CD, limited-edition green LP, and digital download.

Remastered by Bob Weston and featuring new liner notes by MAGNET magazine editor Eric Miller, physical copies of Vee Vee will include sixteen bonus tracks and new cover art re-imagined by graphic ... Read more in Amazon's Archers of Loaf Store

Visit Amazon's Archers of Loaf Store
for 9 albums, 5 photos, videos, and 2 full streaming songs.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 10, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: September 7, 1993
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alias Records
  • ASIN: B000001HV4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,923 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Web in Front
2. Last Word
3. Wrong
4. You and Me
5. Might
6. Hate Paste
7. Fat
8. Plumb Line
9. Learo, You're a Hole
10. Sick File
11. Toast
12. Backwash
13. Slow Worm

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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. ~ Jack Rabid, All Music Guide

Like fellow indie rockers Pavement, Archers of Loaf excel in making uneasy-listening pop, with sharp, angular guitars jutting this way and that, barring the listener from turning any corner without a little work. Vocalist/guitarist Eric Bachmann is as committed a rock singer as you'll find, impressively following every note with vocal cords stretched as far as they'll go. The two guitars caterwaul like trapped animals; the rhythm section churns out a solid, scary backbeat, gluing the whole mess together into one surprisingly powerful whole. The raging, relentless "Last Word" stands as a shining example of college rock circa 1993. --Lorry Fleming

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Aquarius Records on September 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Must be something about summertime and the feeling of nostalgia and memories of my younger days that has had me going crazy over some of my favorite '90s indie rock records as of late. Recent reviews prove this, as reissues of Sebadoh and Spoon classics received my record of the week honors. Truth be told Icky Mettle is just as qualified for that honor as well. There was a period during the '90s when I used to joke that if you looked up "indie rock" in the dictionary you would find a picture of Archers of Loaf's Icky Mettle. But really, I sort of wasn't joking. All you had to do was listen to it and you instantly understood the full glory of indie rock and how totally heavy and wild and kick a-- and catchy indie rock could be. Guitars are crunchy and jagged, ringing loud and true, vocals soaring, melodies you can't EVER get out of your head, and a passionate urgency that makes your heart race and your soul shiver. It's pretty serendipitous that this record just got reissued as it's been playing around here quite a bit, Irwin rediscovered it earlier this summer, it's been rocking Andee's iPod quite a bit lately, and it gets played in the store NON-STOP!!

There is not a dud on this album... it's almost like Archers of Loaf made us the most perfect indie rock mix tape ever, except it's their entire album! The track "Web In Front" might just be THE GREATEST INDIE ROCK SONG EVER. If it's not, it's definitely top five. It jangles, it totally rocks, the vocasl are super intense but completely melodic, the arrangement is bizarre and the parts unlikely, but that only serves to make it that much more unique and unforgettable.

I can't count the times in the past that I've put songs from this record on mixes I've made for friends, crushes, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mitchell Manzella on March 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Song after song the Archers of Loaf show perfect execution of what Indie Rock is all about. Dirty yet smooth, hard yet clear... this band really has great skill with NYC style execution. Big Thanks to Kevin Smith for putting WEB IN FRONT in Mall Rats. Web In Front is probably the best song under 2 mins ever made in the genre. Overall the entire album is full of what will be classics once you hear them. Enjoy. Personal note: Archers of Loaf & Pavement found me when I was 16 years old... and I thank them for all the positive infulence they have had on my life.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "ceguru" on January 18, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Icky Mettle is a strong contender in the "Best Album You Probably Haven't Heard" sweepstakes. Released at the peak of the indie-rock invasion of the early to mid-90's it inexplicably never managed to gain more than a limited cult following. That's hard to understand because its a near perfect alterna-guitar fest.
It only takes a listen or two to understand what sets the Archers apart from most bands of their ilk. First off are the guitars, never less than three. One is usually playing crunching rythym riffs while another cranks out wild leads as a third (and occasionally, by the sounds of things , a fourth and fifth etc) careens off everything in sight, alternating between dissonant shards of noise and catchy countermelodies. The result is a sound that is by turns abrasive and incredibly melodic, often at the same time.
Secondly are the songs which are instantly memorable from the first listen and gain in stature with repeatedly plays. Foremost is the lead track "Web In Front" which is loud, catchy as heck, and filled with strange, but occasionally catchy lyrics ("you're not the one who let me down/but thanks for offering). Other songs echo this more or less melodic vein, although even the catchiest numbers are usually punctuated with squeals, squawks, and shards of white noise.
Not the least of the records strengths is the pacing which is perfect. Everytime things threaten to get too pretty, the Archers throw a curve ball with a dark, flat out bitter song or two and when that mode threatens to get old its back to something in a more listener-friendly mode. Rather than producing a schizophrenic feel, this keeps the record fresh throughout. Its an amazingly consistent work which requires no editing or reprogramming.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul H. on May 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Icky Mettle is a jarring, brutal, left-of-center forgotten wonder of early 90's indie rock, an album which contains one of the best rock songs of the decade ("Web In Front"). The rest of the album is on par with that minor hit, but not as immediately so. Sounding like Pavement as filtered through the dirty noise of the Stooges and early Dinosaur Jr., the Archers Of Loaf deliver a good number of bitter, loud, and angry bursts of energy. Such a premise might sound pretty derivative on paper, but the gritty vocals of Eric Bachmann and the ridiculous energy of the band are beyond compare. This album is a wet dream for indie rock fans looking for the oft-desired, and not always expertly executed, concept of pop and noise. Just listen to the way "Backwash" turns into a frenzy of distorted everything for proof of this group's skill. These Archers Of Loaf are liberal with the feedback and distortion, and thus Icky Mettle remains a lost gem on par with the best work of Superchunk and Pavement.
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