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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The lowest part is free, but he can't leave home.

Here's another acclaimed band that I've never heard much of, but suddenly want to hear much more of: Archers of Loaf. I have plenty of reasons why, almost ten years since their final album, I've never really investigated them until now.

I distinctly remember a particular trip down to Austin years ago to visit my friends and I spent an afternoon/evening raiding Matt's CD collection to make some mix CDs. These were the days of 16x being the fastest CD burning speed and sites like YouSendIt and MegaUpload were not around. We weren't aware of burning a data CD filled with albums, so I had to be rather choosy with what I wanted to rip. Plus, I had a lot to choose from.

It was then I was introduced to the wonderful first two albums by Gomez, as well as b-sides from Idlewild, Built to Spill and Superdrag. Perusing the Mallrats soundtrack, I came across Archers of Loaf's "Web in Front" and frankly didn't like it. Since I had all sorts of other stuff to peruse, I moved on. Matt was a little surprised I was not taken with the Loaf since our music tastes are very similar, but I figured I'd rope back around to them. But I didn't think it'd be eight years.

Going through Noel's second week of no new music yesterday, I came upon a favorable write-up on AoL and as a bonus, an MP3 of "Lowest Part is Free!" Suddenly everything seemed to click and now I'm entering the "want to hear everything from this band" phase. But before I get to that, I think about why I missed out on a band like this.

For starters, this isn't 1995, so I wouldn't confuse the "Lowest Part is Free!" video with similar-looking videos by slightly similar-sounding bands like Superchunk, Pavement or Chavez while watching 120 Minutes. Second of all, after enjoying vocal-straining bands like Jawbreaker and Leatherface for years, I can now appreciate Eric Bachmann's vocals. Third and final (for now), I'm not seeing their name everywhere everyday on every blog I read, Pitchfork or Punknews.org. I guess I just prefer to listen at my leisure instead of trying to stay on top in hopes of being "relevant" or "hip."

Now I start thinking about some modern bands I've glanced over in the last few months but have yet to really check out. Do we really know if the Oaks will be as highly lauded in ten years just as much as AoL is now? Do we really know if Jay Reatard will be considered a trailblazing artist in five years? The answer I have is no and trying to make such predictions is just something I'm not one to hedge bets on. I'm too busy just taking my time, usually listening to Dillinger Escape Plan, the Pipettes and Scott Walker over and over.

1 comment:

Reed said...

It's never too late to get into this band. Of all the bands I've ever dug, they're the one that just simply never gets old. I have never skipped one of their songs on shuffle, and whenever I hear one, I want to hear more. Here's my take on how I feel about them these days (OK, that was a couple years ago, but things haven't changed).

So now that it's been a while since you're posting, I'm curious - how are you liking them now?