Archers of Loaf
Vee Vee


4.0
excellent

Review

by Supercoolguy64 USER (67 Reviews)
May 18th, 2015 | 8 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Taking risks can be very rewarding

Archers of Loaf were a band that always tried to push their music forward by adding different styles and fresh ideas to their already genius sound. Their 1993 debut Icky Mettle was a well-rounded slab of brash indie rock complete with snotty punk vocals and a guitar tone that could make any musician weep for days. Now, these guys could of taken the easy route by simply releasing Icky Mettle clone after Icky Mettle clone, however they did not, rather spending the time and energy toying around with new sounds.

Perhaps the easiest way to describe their follow-up recording, Vee Vee, is by calling it a “mixed bag”. The first two tracks showcases the album’s odd nature: “Step Into The Light” is a surprisingly smooth track, the vocals are as soft as a kitten, which perfectly compliments the light-as-air instrumentation. Hell, “Step Into The Light” is a track that makes you question whether or not you’re listening to the same band that wrote “Web In Front”, which makes “Harnessed In Slums” the perfect follow-up track. “Harnessed In Slums” includes the band’s trademark smart-ass snark, the instrumentation is energetic and infectious, and the chorus has an big anthem-esque tone to it that makes it practically impossible to not chant along to. These two songs are unique and completely different from each other, just like the rest of the album.

The thing that makes Vee Vee so great is that each track has there own tone to them, no two songs sound alike. “Greatest Of All Time” has perhaps the band’s most heartfelt performance on the record, as the vocals are executed in a melancholy croon. “Death In The Park” showcases the band’s knack of writing poppy choruses, and “Floating Friends” sounds just like its title: light weight and dreary. The indie-experimentation found on this record works to the band's advantage, but it can also lead to the album’s faults, such as “The Worst Has Yet To Come”.

This track is perhaps the band’s sloppiest number, for it sounds as if each of the band members were playing completely different songs when they recorded it. The bass literally sounds like it’s trying to catch up to the messy, unfiltered guitars, and the way the vocals awkwardly stumble into the song is nothing short of, well, hard to listen to.

Now, I can list off the best and worst tracks for days, but if I had to choose a track that best represents the album’s overall aesthetic, it would be “Underachievers March and Fight Song”. The thing about this track is that it doesn’t sound that good at first, beginning with a quirky, repetitive horn loop that might put some listeners off at first. This loop stays for the entire song, only ever pausing during the chorus, but don’t be fooled by it: The longer you listen to the song, the more it reveals its greatness.

The way the guitars subtly wash themselves over the loop in the very beginning is nothing short of mesmerizing. Next thing you know, you’re hit with a surprisingly upbeat chorus, complete with boy scout whistling and a surprisingly tasteful use of banjo. The once annoying loop is now revealed to be surprisingly good, as it gives a strong structure to the song, adding a well-needed backbone.

While Archers of Loaf will never go down in history as the greatest band of their era, they should still be remembered as a very strong one. Vee Vee showcases the band’s experimental side, which they would later delve much deeper into with their later albums. What makes Vee Vee so great, however, is that it acts as a bridge between their early, brash era and the later, more daring side of their career. Anyone interested in indie music should definitely give this album a listen.



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user ratings (44)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Supercoolguy64
May 18th 2015


5855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

havnt done a review in a while, so here ya go! took me a long ass time to do this, kept getting bored/distracted when i did this.

Digging: Johnny Smith - Johnny Smith

Chortles
May 18th 2015


18478 Comments


nice one m8

this band is great but i haven't heard this one for some reason

Supercoolguy64
May 18th 2015


5855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the vid for underachievers is the most entertaining thing ive ever seen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKNywYrdRpI

zakalwe
May 18th 2015


11632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good effort dude. This album is definitely worth a spin I reckon some around here would absolutely love it.

Digging: Savoy Brown - Looking In

grannypantys
May 18th 2015


216 Comments


band is sweet

and also currently on some sort of reunion tour. Might have to check

Supercoolguy64
May 18th 2015


5855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah heard about that, they've been reunited for a few years now actually. apparently, they're not against the idea of writing new material. it would be epic if they made another AoL album



4N4LB34D5
May 19th 2015


347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

love this album to death. i'm seeing them play in philly in july. it's gonna be sweeeeeeeeeeeee!! what a wonderful time to be a fan of 90s noiserock/posthardcore/grunge/indie/whateverthefuck

Supercoolguy64
August 30th 2015


5855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

there's a billion miles of speakers

billion miles of speakers

and they're coming to steal your

freeeeespaaaaaaccceee



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