ARRA Music (2015)
Let's stick with another 90s band this week, and one of my absolute favorites, Archers Of Loaf. Curse Of The Loaf is a live album recorded over 2 days at Cat's Cradle in 2011. At the best of times I don't love live albums. Some of my favorite bands have them, Rocket From The Crypt, Snuff, Letherface and more, and they don't come up in rotation all that frequently. It was more of a need to keep my collection complete that I purchased this Archers record. I will admit, I'm pretty surprised by how great it is.
First off, the song selection is stellar. There's only one song from that turd of a record White Trash Heroes and only a couple from the somewhat disappointing All The Nations Airports. Everything else is solid gold taken from the high point in the band's existence, their first two albums and their Vs. The Greatest Of All Time EP. The recording quality is quite amazing. The vocals are crisp and clear, but they're not unusually loud sitting on top of the music the way a lot of live albums can go. The band sounds big and powerful and still tight after all that time apart.
Even when they played the one song that I actively don't like, "Dead Red Eyes," within the context of the show, surrounded by all of these other amazing songs it doesn't even sound so bad. I think I would have saved it for a deeper cut rather than plop it down as track number three, but still, it's the most I've ever enjoyed that song.
Usually when I have a live album from a band I listen to it once, maybe twice and file it away into the collection. I've already listened to Curse Of The Loaf way more times than I typically would. It's a testament to just how good the recording is and also how great this slice of songs from their catalog is. It sounds like one of the best shows you could have gone to, although since the songs were culled from 2 days, I'm not entirely sure which day each song was recorded or what the actual set list from either looked like. Still, it's a hell of a live record.
Oh, it comes with a live DVD as well, but I haven't actually watched that yet.
Archers Of Loaf - Curse Of The Loaf 2xLP: