Archers of Loaf
Yeah, I’ve been holding my breath for some massive 90s revival. I call it a revival since so many of the 90s bands had such a devoted following, bordering on the religious. Every album I have from the early 90s I’ve studied fairly well whether it be Post-Rock (Slint) or the embodiment of indie rock perfection (The Pixies). Both of those bands have since gone touring, along with smaller bands with more rabid fan bases (Polvo in particular, where one fan flew from the Midwest just to see them rock out at Brooklyn Bowl).
There’s one group I want to see return: the slackers. I miss slackers a lot; I grew up with some of them. Now they either got productive or remained in their parents’ basements. Slackers created some sweet tunes, perhaps some of my favorite music of all time. Now I’m not saying that I’m upset Pavement has returned to us, that is a good start for the slacker wave, but not really the definition.
No, I’m talking about those bands that will never come back to us. Ones who got busy, got money, and will thus fail to return to us. So when I see one of those ‘Jesus, I never thought you’d return’ bands do so, I’m usually fairly psyched. If they decide to release another album, I’m happy but it really isn’t necessary.
Archers of Loaf are coming back for what appears to be a fairly decent-sized tour. They will hit north, south, east, west, and even the middle section of the United States of America. Countless college radio stations will see DJs from decades past reconnect for the sole purpose of scoring free tickets. I may decide to call a few people and see if I can get some if I promise to do a ‘webcast’ or something.
Really though, I think Archers of Loaf might be next to the word ‘slackers’ in the dictionary along with Guided By Voices. Both of those bands sounded more like they were hanging out than making actual music. That remains a selling point for both of them especially thirty or forty-somethings who wax nostalgic for the early 90s, when allegedly better indie music and film existed, before it was co-opted by market forces.
In preparation, I’ve decided to revisit the Archers of Loaf seminal album, Icky Mettle. Listening to it, I’m reminded I got into them as soon as I became a college radio DJ. For some college radio stations, it is required listening before you start on the air. “Web in Front” I wanted them to be my spine, to keep me strong against the forces of work, the needs of our economy, GDP, and so on. When I heard this song, I think I played it on repeat for a couple of days. Never has two minutes of my life sounded so nice.
Slackers will make a comeback with this reunion tour, I’m certain of it. Like the early 90s, we have high unemployment and what I’m beginning to realize is a pretty interesting underbelly of countless bedroom musicians, bedroom writers, bedroom film makers, and so on. Let’s hope Archers of Loaf lead us to that lazier, happier land.