Lost Classics: Archers Of Loaf “Icky Mettle”

tapem200bThey’re nobody’s buzz bands anymore. But since 1993, MAGNET has discovered and documented more great music than memory will allow. The groups may have broken up or the albums may be out of print, but this time, history is written by the losers. Here are some of the finest albums that time forgot but we remembered in issue #75, plus all-new additions to our list of Lost Classics.

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:: ARCHERS OF LOAF
Icky Mettle // Alias, 1993

The full-length debut by Chapel Hill, N.C.’s Archers Of Loaf revealed troubling levels of undergraduate angst and, even by 1993 standards, was considered highly derivative. But man, when the Archers hit their mark on “Web In Front” and “Plumb Line,” all sins were forgiven. Buoyed by singer/guitarist Eric Bachmann’s nascent songwriting talent, Icky Mettle straddled the line between Pavement’s brainy esoterica and Superchunk’s guitar blitzkrieg. The formula proved to be a winner, as it thrust the Archers into the national spotlight and quickly found them flipping tour-van odometers and declining a record deal from Madonna’s Maverick label. Those grueling miles took a toll, however, and over the course of three more albums and an EP, the Archers eventually emptied their tank for good.

Catching Up: Bachmann continues to make records with Crooked Fingers, which issued Forfeit/Fortune last year. Drummer Mark Price has played with Hotel Lights (led by ex-Ben Folds Five drummer Darren Jessee), while guitarist Eric Johnson has recorded under the moniker Spookie.

“Web In Front”:

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