Friday, July 10, 2020

Archers of Loaf - Talking Over Talk 7"


Merge (2020)

Archers of Loaf are one of my favorite bands ever.  I still feel like their output up through Vee Vee is essentially flawless.  They had some bumps in the road after that and by the time they had put out White Trash Heroes, they weren't really ticking the boxes that I was looking for anymore.  I did get to see them play on their last ever tour in 1998 and when they went away into the night, it sort of just felt like the right time for them to do that.

As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder and when the band played some reunion shows in 2011, I was all in and was so impressed by their performance in New York that year.  It probably didn't hurt that ninety percent of the songs they were playing were from Vee Vee and earlier.  Fast forward to 2020 and Archers announce that they are putting out new music, starting with a 7" for Record Store Day.  This will be accompanied by a tour.  Which was cancelled. And then the 7" was delayed because Record Store Day was cancelled.  Pandemic. Sucks.

Well, that RSD 7" is still coming out as part of a "RSD Drop" in August, but I'll be damned if anyone has actually explained what that means.  I'll bide my time and see what happens, but I imagine I'll end up having to buy that one on eBay.  All that rambling aside, what that means is that this Archers of Loaf 7", which was actually supposed to be their second release, turns out to be their first new record in over twenty years.

It's good.  It's not great.  It doesn't have the bursting energy of Icky Mettle or the noise-pop hooks of Vee Vee.  It's more subdued, though not as much as the White Trash Heroes era.  When it comes right down to it, both are good, solid songs.  What I'm missing is the dynamics.  The punchy guitar interplay and the feeling that the band was about to go off the rails at any second.  These songs are more straightforward and structured.  That's not to say they aren't good, I just like Archers best when they are a little more ramshackle and a bit angrier.

Archers of Loaf - Talking Over Talk 7":

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