Autobiographical Order No. 155: Archers of Loaf – Icky Mettle

So. Been a while. Yeah, I’ve had a lot of things keeping me from blogging about records. There’s all the other writing I do, of course, plus DJing. That band I started. That TV show I’m on. You know. The usual. But I have no plans to abandon Autobiographical Order. In fact, I’ve got something like 400 records ahead of me that are probably going to take me forever to finish up, but I’m committed. By god, I’m committed.

When you blog your record collection in autobiographical order, it’s as much about the weird things you remember as the records themselves. At least it is for me. It’s often a surprise to me just the weird details that I’ll remember about the day that I picked something up. Or the circumstances surrounding it. Or what have you.

From 2010 to 2012 or so, I was in a constant state of discovery and musical renewal, endlessly diving through archives of music I’d never listened to before in an effort to fill the gaps in my catalog and to find new favorites. This is pretty much how it’s going to be for the rest of my life, but at the time, it was intensely focused. If I was interested in an album from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, whatever, I’d have to find a way to hear it. So I knew what I was missing.

Archers of Loaf weren’t necessarily a band that were new to me around this time. I had been listening to Icky Mettle and White Trash Heroes in particular for a long time and feeling like I had missed out on something cool by not having seen them live during their five years together. And I still haven’t, despite the reunion (though I did interview Eric Bachmann, and he was awesome to talk to). In 2011, though, Merge reissued the band’s debut album, an indie rock classic that had sort of slipped under the radar for a lot of listeners, and it proved a strong reminder of how great a band they were.

Naturally, I had to get a copy, and snagged a snazzy blue vinyl copy at M Theory in Mission Hills. The day I bought it, though, was a historic day for the United States. No, it wasn’t an election year (2011, remember?). It wasn’t the day Osama Bin Laden was killed or that a historic Supreme Court decision came down. Nope, not that. It was the day that Standard & Poor’s downgraded the nation’s credit.

I was working at a business-oriented newspaper at the time, and that was the big news of the day in terms of national financial news. It was the first time in the nation’s history that it had happened, and as was the case in the post-recession climate, every bit of bad news felt like catastrophe. It wasn’t, naturally, but it was a first, and for that matter felt ominous. Later that evening I went out with my wife and a couple friends to get some drinks and we ended up talking about it. It was more of a “So, what exactly does that mean?” conversation, but still one of those weird reminders that you’ve become a boring adult.

The world didn’t end, and I still don’t really feel like an adult, and thank god I’ve got this Archers of Loaf record to drive that point home. Gimme snotty, noisy, loud and reckless indie rock.

Rating: 9.3 out of 10

Sound Quality: Great

(btw, I can’t help but think it’s awesome that this Youtube account is named “roycemccutcheon”)

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