Day 168: Archers of Loaf – Icky Mettle

15 Aug

Web in Front

“Jacob, why are you listening to more 90s indie rock?”  I asked myself in the third person.

“Well, because all of these Chicago street fests that I frequent insist on booking 90s indie rock bands that everyone has already forgotten about.  Dumbass.”  I replied.

AV Club, a Chicago-based indie music blog (no, not Pitchfork) is throwing a little get together.  Over two days, I’ll get to see a bunch of modern bands that I really like—The Thermals, Tokyo Police Club, Cloud Nothings and Telekinesis will all be making appearances.  I recognized neither of the two-day fest’s headliners, though, and for good reason.

One night, Hum will be taking the stage last.  They haven’t done anything for ten years.  The next night, Archers of Loaf will be playing to the largest crowd.  They’ve been broken up for around twelve years now, I believe.

I’m always up for live music, though, so I figure that it’s my responsibility to give both of these bands a shot at winning me over.  I’ll probably end up seeing their sets regardless of how I feel about them; leaving a show before the headliner always feels weird.

Let’s just say, I see why people loved Icky Mettle when it was originally released in November of 1993 (just a few weeks before I was born.)  It’s standard 90s indie rock, with a little grunge influence evident.  It doesn’t wow me, but that’s because it’s undeniably dated.  I’ll see this band’s show, and who knows, maybe they’ll kill it and gain a faux-nostalgia fan.

I’m just not so sure how I feel about all of these indie bands reuniting and going on cash-grab tours.  Cap’n Jazz did it (yeah, I saw them twice [and yes, one of those times was at a Chicago street fest]), and they ended up playing venues larger than any of the other Kinsella bands could ever dream of.  Superchunk released an album after almost a decade of dormancy, and made all kinds of bank.  Good for these bands for finding a way to capitalize on their posthumous popularity, but it’s kind of annoying to the kids who have never heard of them, and have to see all of these old groups’  names on  higher slots than some up-and-coming bands with all kinds of potential.


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