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Classic Album Review

Classic Album Review: “The Stranger” by Billy Joel

ALBUM: “The Stranger” by Billy Joel

RELEASE YEAR: 1977

RECORD LABEL: Columbia Records

Even though Billy Joel is a world-renowned singer-songwriter and piano player, I only started listening to him recently. I discovered Joel through the movie “Uncut Gems”. The song “The Stranger” was included in the soundtrack. It fit well with the scene and overall was a killer track. I was intrigued and wanted to listen to the whole LP. I was not aware of it then, but it ended up becoming one of my favorite albums.

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Classic Album Review

“This Stupid World” by Yo La Tengo

This “review” of Yo La Tengo’s “This Stupid World” is a companion piece to a “review” of MooM’s “Plague Infested Dump of the Future”. I explained some of my reasoning for talking about two completely different albums in that article and you are welcome to check it out if you feel inclined. 

Yo La Tengo is one of my favorite bands of all time. The smooth symphony of sounds creeping up from the speakers to take my head into a comforting cradle leaves a lasting impact in my mind. The joy for music I have while listening to Yo La Tengo isn’t easily explained. (But who can really explain their emotions?)

In the past year of dragging “This Stupid World” around in my head, letting it bounce off the cavities of my brain, helping it incite hunger and different kinds of fear, I have truly enjoyed familiarizing myself with this album. 

This album was the first in a few years that Yo La Tengo (YLT) released with what they call a “live sound”, and it takes us back to the well-loved sounds the band produced in the past (quote from their Bandcamp). “This Stupid World” was released on February 10, 2023 and released under Matador Records. The band includes Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, and James McNew.

Where’s the World’s Stupidity?

Sinatra Drive Breakdown

I don’t dislike a single track on this album. I could spend hours writing and re-writing my thoughts to try and accurately reflect my love and attention for these songs, but I don’t have time for that. As the opening song, “Sinatra Drive Breakdown” is a magnet for your ears. Thwumthwumthwum. The guitar and the bass beats into my ears and I’m enamored immediately by the beauty of fear that time is running out. 

Fallout

A little more upbeat, “Fallout” is a great followup to “Sinatra Drive Breakdown”. It still sinks back into regret and time’s manipulative interactions with our lives. Filled with the emotions of people that have been working in the music business for decades, YLT knows what “falling out of time” would allow them to see and feel. I can’t put it into words, but I don’t have to because YLT does that for me.

Aselestine

Hubley’s dreamy vocals are backed up by a beautiful and simple guitar along with ethereal background tunes to put our minds at ease as we turn towards regret once again. How are we not supposed to regret the silly things that we each perceive as mistakes? “Aselestine” is YLT’s acceptance and voice of beauty in the regret of not using our time efficiently because there’s beauty in mistakes. 

This Stupid World

Ah, the title track. How could any band not fall in love with their album’s title track? In this song YLT imbues every loving feeling they have into the deep throaty hums of their guitar, the echoing shakes of a tambourine and of course a quiet outcry from the vocals. YLT has the world’s attention when it complains about “this stupid world is killing me/ this stupid world is all we have”. 

What A Stupid World

Yeah, this world is stupid. This world is also beautiful. And, as I mentioned in MooM’s album review, this world is filled with anger. In both “This Stupid World” and “Plague Infested Urban Dump of the Future” there exists the convoluted threads tying all of these unique expressions of emotion together. 

Both YLT and MooM have their niche of people listening to their music. People filled with anger and surges of vengeance, and/or people lost and trying to find a way to accept that time isn’t going to give them what they want. (Both of these types of people are feeling the same thing but they react to their emotions differently). By appreciating the viewpoints of both these unique artists, we can find the beauty in the rage and the disgust in our fears.

Yo La Tengo will be in the Raleigh area later this year to perform live at the Haw River Ballroom. If you’re a fan like me, you might end up there. 

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Classic Album Review

“Small Grey Man” by Uranium Club

One of my favorite weird bands is coming out with another weird album.

The Minneapolis Uranium Club, known also as simply Uranium Club, are a four-piece band operating out of Minneapolis.

Most of Uranium Club’s songs sound like if someone gave a gnome a journal and then introduced it to existential angst and avant garde film.

Distinctly DEVO-esque, this (egg punk?) band defines itself by an eclectic, twangy style that straddles the line between new wave and punk.

The band got their start in 2016 with their first album, an originally cassette-only release titled “Human Exploration.”

Cover for “Human Exploration” by Uranium Club

It’s a great album. The tracks are jaunty and entrancing and the lyrics are weird, abstract and occasionally pretentious (though decidedly self-aware). It’s the kind of music best suited for late-night basement shows or long, manic drives.

The band’s recent announcement of their upcoming fifth album, as well as the release of the album’s first track, tacks on another element of excitement and intrigue.

“Infants Under the Bulb”

The band’s upcoming album, “Infants Under the Bulb,” will hit the airwaves on March 1.

According to the band, the album “…opens up the history books of unsolved mysteries – unidentified, unsolved, unanswered subjects of suspicious acts or individuals across the last century” to ask the questions “Who, what, when and where… but mostly, why?”

The band references several unsolved cases, such as the mysterious deaths of the Somerton Man and Peter Bergmann (content warning: postmortem photos) as well as the strange circumstances of Jean-Dominique Bauby, a man who wrote an entire manuscript while experiencing locked-in syndrome.

Details from these cases, apparently, will imbue the contents of the album.

“Small Grey Man”

The theme of “strange phenomena” is compelling, especially with the band’s track record for tongue-in-cheek humor and witty prose. A taste of this theme can be seen in “Small Grey Man,” the first track of “Infants Under the Bulb,” which came out as a single on January 18.

Like a spoken-word poem, the bizarre lyrics reference both the Somerton Man and Peter Bergmann (both the actor and corpse). Wordplay, entendre and fantasy come together to capture the incongruous sensation of stumbling upon an unsolved mystery and being left with questions forever unanswered.

Cover for “All Of Them Naturals” by Uranium Club

Throughout the song, the speaker’s identity appears to shift as he imagines himself as the two men, speculating that they were spies who found themselves as corpses upon the beach — perhaps murdered, perhaps victims of suicide — due to a strange twist of fate. The ambiguity of their circumstances and the mystery surrounding their identities rings out as the speaker questions, “What’s your name?” and “Who are you?”

If there’s so much apparent depth to just a single song on the album, I can’t wait to explore the other ten.

Here’s the official tracklist:


1. “Small Grey Man”
2. “Viewers Like You
3. “Game Show”
4. “The Wall Pts.1&2”
5. “Tokyo Paris L.A. Milan”
6. “The Wall Pt.3”
7. “2-600-LULLABY”
8. “Abandoned By The Narrator”
9. “The Ascent”
10. “Big Guitar Jack– In The Sky”
11. “The Wall Pt.4”

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Classic Album Review

Ween’s “12 Golden Country Greats”

Ween’s “12 Golden Country Greats” is both a deservedly hated and loved album. It represents some of Ween’s strangest, most homophobic, misogynistic and racist lyrics, while also being incredibly well produced and extremely unique. 

Over the last few years of listening to this album, my opinions on the track and album have changed and changed and changed. I still don’t know how I feel about the album as a whole because musically it is really well put together with tons of fantastic guest stars to back up Gene and Dean Ween (Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo).

“12 Golden Country Greats” was released on May 6, 1996 under Elektra Records. Dean and Gene Ween are vocals on every track, but they were limited in their instrument playing during the recording of the album because of the amount of talent brought in to record (interview with album producer). Some of the folks that played on this album were Bobby Ogdin (piano), Charlie McCoy (organ, banjo, bass, harmonica, percussion, trumpet, tuba, vibraphone) and The Jordanaires (backup vocals on “I’m Holding You” and “Powder Blue”).

12 Golden Tracks:

Japanese Cowboy

By reading the title alone you are wondering why this band hasn’t been “canceled” or shunned into oblivion. I still wonder that too, but damn these songs are catchy. It’s like a kind of guilty catchy when you are eating a whole line of Oreos at 2 am in the kitchen. 

This track features the lyrics “Like a Japanese cowboy or a brother on skates” in its chorus. I don’t know what Ween was trying to do with stereotypes about Japanese cowboys, but they use it in a metaphor to signify “something ain’t right”. Obviously, this is racist. (I hope I don’t need to say why…)

Piss Up A Rope

And of course the next track is misogynistic. Warning, there are curse words in this one (oooh scary). This song reminds of the MF DOOM track that features prominent homophobia (“BATTY BOYZ”), which is its own issue. Again, with this track I have no idea what Ween was trying to do. (Highschool me definitely thought this was funny, but at this point it is just nostalgic).

With lyrics like “She got time for the dog and none for her man” and “You ride my ass like a horse in the saddle/ Now you’re up sh*t’s creek with a turd for a paddle” it’s hard for me to believe this track was written to be taken seriously. 

I’m Holding You

Wow. It’s like a normal country song written by normal people. This song is the opener to the album. Some of the lyrics are the off-putting Ween weird, but nothing that places you in some hateful territory like the previous two tracks. I love the instruments on this. They remind me of what classic western movies should be sounding like. 

Powder Blue

Another almost normal country tune by Ween. That should have been the title of this track. Fun fact about this song is that about a whole minute of the song was cut by the studio because of a Muhammad Ali quote that was featured at the end (so recalls the record producer). Now the song abruptly ends. Either way, this track is a fine groovy tune. 

No More Country Greats

This album is… something. Even after trying to write about it, I still can’t figure out if I like the whole thing, three tracks or nothing because it’s tainted by “Piss up a Rope”, “Mister Richard Smoker” and “Japanese Cowboy”.

You know, you are welcome to form your own opinion on this. Cool. That works. But also, the reason I wrote about this album is because I had a sudden urge like my aforementioned Oreo binging behavior to cram something down my ears and into my head that reminded me of something I’d left behind in high school. (I’m still lookin’ for that something because this album helped me find nothing).

Kind of cool news about Ween: they’ll be on tour in the Raleigh area in April, so if you like their music you can find tickets to their shows online.

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Classic Album Review

“Manic Ride” by BL’AST!: Reissue of a Hardcore Punk Classic

Hailing from the far reaches of… Santa Cruz, California is the band, BL’AST!. They are a hardcore punk band that was active during the epoch of Black Flag, and BL’AST! Is picking up steam again. 

Manic Ride” is the remastering and release of an album that was unsatisfactory for the band members originally, but now that it has been re-done, it can be loved by all (Source is BL’AST!’s Bandcamp page).  For previous album remasters, BL’AST has worked with notable artists like Dave Grohl and Corrosion of Conformity (source is Southern Lord).

After forming in 1982, BL’AST! made music as a group for about 7 years then quit. They were influential among punk rockers and early hardcore enthusiasts, but their breakup helped them die quietly in the background of punk rock. They’ve since come back from the dead multiple times to make new music with new band members (source Southern Lord). 

“Manic Ride” is their most recent project, which was re-released in March 2023. Besides the sick cover art by Justin Forbes (as stated by an Idioteq article), I was drawn to this album because it comes from a revered influential hardcore punk band. 

“Manic Ride” – Hold on…

BL’AST!’s work and the entire team’s work on this album is phenomenal. It sounds really beautiful and I can tell a ton of work and love has been put into this project to make it sound as good as it does. 

These tracks are pretty lengthy for a punk band (most tracks are over four minutes long) and feature heavy guitar, drums and thick vocals. It’s a step back into the original punk era sounds with plenty of reimagined sounds too. 

The most notable tracks to me are:

Overdrive” – a fast-paced track focused on facing annihilation.

Out Of Alignment” – a neat song about being an outsider in a world against you (very classic punk theme of course).

Powerize” – this one is a little more electronic sounding with a neat opening guitar that left me trembling throughout the whole song. 

Look Inside” – this track is the longest on the album and again opens with some deep, bassy drums (like “Out of Alignment”). It’s about being drained and feeling worn down and angry about it. 

Overall this album is pretty neat. At the moment it won’t be my go-to hardcore punk release, as there are so many excellent releases from the 1980’s and beyond to enjoy, but I love the feelings exuded throughout the album. I need to sit and listen to this album even more for it to potentially blossom into a new-found favorite.

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Classic Album Review

Amaara’s “Child of Venus”

Surprise! I’m not writing about local or hardcore music. Instead I’m doing a small break from loud noise and focusing on Amaara.

Amaara is a moniker for “multimedia” artist, Kaelen Ohm, and “Child of Venus” is the first full length album released by Ohm. The album is a blend of pop, ethereal sounds and smooth, syrupy vocals. 

“Child of Venus” was released earlier this year on July 7. I have been listening to it as soon as it popped up on my Bandcamp page because the album art looked intriguing, and I’ve been hooked ever since. 

Ohm wrote, composed and produced every song on the album. She also performs vocals, synths, guitar, piano, bass and backing vocals. Ohm got some help in the percussion, and wasn’t able to do that herself. It’s extremely impressive to me to see artists able to conquer all these instruments and have tons of talent to create a whole album like this. 

“Child of Venus”

Track 2: “The Discover of Innocence Is Its Loss (Wide Open)

The album opens with “Child of Venus”, the title track, but I found this song to be way stronger and impressive. It literally opens with “a shot to the heart” and the album continues to escalate from this point (Ohm’s Lyrics on Bandcamp). 

Track 4: “New Love’s Mortal Coil

Easily a new love, akin to Lana Del Ray in vocals and vibe, but still Amaara is her own unique recipe of gooey, ghostly and good songs. The music video is a lil’ silly, but the song remains one of my favorites on this album.

Track 6: “Shimmering Light / Visions

Absolutely my favorite track of this whole release. The slow build up into the “Visions” half of this song really keeps me 100% involved every second of it. I love the windy road and adventure we go on by listening to this track. 

Conclusions

This album’s got a few slow moments, maybe even a couple of dull ones (*cough* “Still” *cough*) – either way, I think Amaara’s got a lot of great energy going into her style and sound. I’ll absolutely keep listening to my favorite tracks and be on the constant lookout for new projects by both Amaara and Ohm herself.

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Classic Album Review

A Slate of Fall Albums For Fall ’23

We are well in to the fall season for 2023. So, I figured I’d do everyone a favor and present a slate of some classic albums released during the season I’d recommend for the ears of those in need of some fall tunes to jam to.

Cover art of "Tender Buttons" by Broadcast

“Tender Buttons” By Broadcast (2005)

Tender Buttons” is the third and final studio album from the U.K based group Broadcast. This album is the result of the work from the recently downsized duo of Trish Keenan (vocals, guitar, keyboard) and James Cargill (bass) following the exit of several band members.

This album can be described a more bare form of the music that many were accustomed to hearing from this band before its release. That being said, the base essence of dream pop and indietronica sounds can be heard in this album’s entirety.

Favorite Tracks:

  • “Michael A Grammar”
  • “Tears In The Typing Pool”
  • “Black Cat”

“Love Deluxe” By Sade (1992)

Considered a classic by many, “Love Deluxe” is the fourth studio album from English band Sade. This is an album very special to me as I often find myself frequently coming back to it and it will play the same for me at any time of day.

The album takes listeners through multiple genres including: cool jazz, classic R&B, and lush ambience all supporting the timeless vocals of lead singer Sade Adu.

Favorite Tracks:

  • “Pearls”
  • “No Ordinary Love”
  • “Like a Tattoo”

“Everything But The Girl” By Everything But The Girl (1984)

Everything But The Girl” is the self-titled release of the U.K based duo Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt. The album itself consists of mainly a sophisti-pop genre with aspects of jazz and lounge music sounds.

A fun fact about this album is that Thorn and Watt were close friends with band members of The Smiths at the time and this album even features The Smiths guitarist, Johnny Marr on the harmonica for the song “Native Land”.

Favorite Tracks:

  • “Tender Blue”
  • “Never Could Have Been Worse”
  • “Mine”

“The Ooz” By King Krule (2017)

While its the most recent album on this list, “The Ooz” holds a significant place in my heart. King Krule is the stage name of Archy Marshall and this project from him truly feels like a lost piece of media in its truest essence.

The album plays with a psychedelic core backed with mellow jazzy sounds along with many songs containing post-punk elements.

The lyrics on this album are some of my favorites not only from King Krule but in general for me, they are very hard to forget due to how well they are delivered on each track.

This album also highlights a fair amount of somber tones and topics along with the heavy theme of introspection from the point of view of Archy himself. I feel that the overall cool vibe of the album plays especially well in the fall season.

Favorite Tracks:

  • “Cadet Limbo”
  • “Slush Puppy”
  • “Dum Surfer”

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, I’ll say once again that all of the songs on this slate are strong recommendations from me and I would go even further and say that these each of these albums were released during the perfect season for them.

Thanks for reading, hope this helped in some way and remember to stay cool.

– MJ :p

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Classic Album Review

Album Review: “Ruler Rebel”

This album fundamentally changed me.

I don’t often talk about it, but jazz is vitally important to me. While my affinity for other genres is often transient and ever-changing, my love of jazz remains constant.

Jazz feels like home to me. It’s pure jubilation and pure comfort.

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

“Ruler Rebel” is no exception to this standard. Listening to this album, as well as its companion pieces, was transformative.

The album manifests jazz with a staunchly contemporary voice, drawing from a wealth of influences.

Though it’s been years since I first listened to it, I still find myself excitedly offering this album to my friends and loved ones.

A Sobering Assessment

“Ruler Rebel” is the first installment of the Centennial Trilogy, proceeded by “Diaspora” and “The Emancipation Procrastination.”

Produced by jazz artist Christian Scott, “Ruler Rebel” pays homage to Scott’s native New Orleans.

Cover for “Diaspora” by Christian Scott

The multifaceted, deeply contemplative and tactile album presents a “re-evaluation of the social political realities of the world through sound.”

The album itself is relatively short as jazz albums go, with its eight tracks adding up to around 35 minutes.

Though a quick listen, the album is unignorable in its impact. An expert craftsman, Scott weaves the ebullience of hip-hop into the jazz tapestry to establish an accessible narrative voice.

Stretch Music

Christian Scott dons many hats — a jazz trumpeter, a producer, a composer, a multi-instrumentalist — in his pursuit of musical innovation.

A staunch experimentalist, Scott’s shirks the confinement of the “jazz” label in favor of something more elastic: stretch music.

Cover for “Stretch Music” by Christian Scott

Stretch music pays respect to jazz traditions while also exploring the fusion of the genre with other stylistic frameworks. While also the name of Scott’s 2015 album, the term expands to encapsulate his novel approach to music.

In “Ruler Rebel,” the marriage of jazz and hip-hop stands as a prime example of this. The music is distinctly jazz, but the warmth of its hip-hop slant cultivates a menagerie of vibrant moods and tones.

Final Thoughts

“Ruler Rebel” strikes listeners right between the ribs.

The album’s opening track, “Ruler Rebel,” is a magnificent vehicle for the butter-smoothness of Scott’s trumpeteering, which stands out amid a dreamlike chorus of musical conversation.

The song is both vibrant and agonizing, beautiful like shards of glass. It’s remix is even more striking (and is one of my all-time favorite songs).

Cover for “Ruler Rebel [X. aTunde Adjuah Remix]” by Christian Scott

Another track on the album, “Rise Again [Allmos Remix],” has a strong hip-hop influence with its rhythmic backing beat.

Phases” introduces female vocals provided by rising vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles, creating a sense of wispy ephemerality.

As a whole, the album represents a multitude of voices. Unflinchingly unpretentious, “Ruler Rebel” presents itself in steadfast allegiance with the common person and in opposition to musical classism.

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Classic Album Review

Wormrot’s “Hiss”: A Grindcore Masterpiece

Wormrot, a grindcore band from Singapore, released a highly anticipated and brain shattering album just over a year ago: “Hiss”. This album is their fourth full length release since forming in 2012, and it was released in June, 2022 under Earache Records

The band gained fame when performing in France because of a fan, a literal goat named Biquette, that would appear to enjoy their shows at the farm venue while they played (article with a video of Biquette). 

At the time of the release of “Hiss”, Wormrot was made up of Arif (vocals), Rasyid (guitar, bass, songwriting), Vijesh (drums/ percussion) and a guest on this album was Myra Choo (violin). All this info was taken from Metal Archives

“Hiss” is loud, percussive, invasive, violent and a lot of fun if you’re into grindcore or into trying to discover why the hardcore scene is attractive to so many people. So, come along with me as I take a weird look into this Wormrot release. 

Now for the album dive – “Hiss”:

I will be writing about these tracks a little differently from previous album reviews because the horror and grime that exudes from Wormrot in this album needs a different way of experiencing it, so this is what I came up with. It might help to listen along to the tracks as you read.

Behind Closed Doors

A growl from deep within your body escapes your mouth. You have to let something out. It’s going to be filled with anger, pent up hate from the things that keep you in place. A speedy, barely restrained guitar and drums punch you forward. You’re fighting with your skull pounding to take another step in the right direction. Dissuaded. Dissuaded again. Take your anger out on something. Someone. Maybe it’s the person next to you. They probably didn’t deserve it, but you’ve been pushed this far and this is the explosion you’ve got to release. 

When Talking Fails, It’s Time for Violence

Immediate, murderous intent from drums spew forth into the air currents surrounding you and you’re just hammered away into a noisy headspace with no room to think. The world blurs by you as you spin round and round and round again trying to gain control of your breathing, your footing, your head. It’s all slipping away, then the chorus comes and it’s a little bit of respite until you’re launched again into violence and gnarly guitar riffs.

Voiceless Choir

A weird urchin-like whisper surrounds your head. The drum beats are fast, but measured. The guitar slows like a Tuesday brunch shift, but we’re swept away again into death measured by the pile of growing fear, anxiety and number of cigarette butts littering the ground. The voices, they aren’t really there (but then again they might be), whisper, whisper, whisper then screech. The track ends with a heavy-metal fade out into the ether.

Grieve

My personal favorite track: violin screams from the heavens, the hells and most certainly humanity. It tapers off then rushes back into a rigid, quick tempo. There are no vocals on this track. Purely instrumental madness trying to get under your skin where the bugs and blood live. 

Desolate Landscapes

Oxygen is escaping the atmosphere at an alarming rate. We’re suffocating and drowning on land. We can’t escape our fate. We can’t escape death. Who’s going to die next and leave enough oxygen for the next few to live just a breath or two longer? Violence oozes form the pores as everyone tries their hand at murder and harm for one more greedy breath of a destroyed, polluted air.

Finale:

I find “Hiss” to be masterful. Wormrot’s earlier full-length releases like “Voices” are fantastic to listen to as well, but this album brings out how much knowledge and talent this band has. It’s a deadly combination of fast and violence with great diversity in the tracks too. If more grindcore becomes this or is influenced by it, fans are in for a treat and many unforgettable mosh pits. 

Icky-natured and still beautiful, “Hiss” presents us with distrust, unforgiving human attributes, hate, corruption of power and more if you’re willing to go looking for it. I cannot get enough of this album. I’m very glad I had the chance to talk about it here, so I hope to spread the love and appreciation I’ve nurtured in it.

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Blog Classic Album Review

Archers of Loaf – “Vee Vee (Remastered)”

More North Carolina. More! Archers of Loaf is one of my personal favorite bands that have stemmed from the Raleigh-Durham area. This is a band that is compared to Pavement, Sonic-Youth, and the Replacements (all on their Spotify bio). 

Archers of Loaf formed in 1991 at UNC with Eric Bachmann (guitar and vocals), Eric Johnson (guitar), Matt Gentling (bass) and Mark Price (drums). All members are from the Asheville area, so they’re all born and bred North Carolinians. 

Their first studio album, “Icky Mettle” was released in 1993. It features a few of their most popular tracks, “Web in Front”, “Fat” and “Plumb Line”, and this album is great but I’ll be focused on “Vee Vee”, the Archers’ third studio album, released in 1995. 

Vee Vee

In “Vee Vee”, Archers of Loaf introduce us to their album through discordant guitar instrumental set as a pathway to backyard, grunge-y hang-out vibes. The first track, “Step into the Light” absorbs your consciousness and releases you ‘into the light’. It trickles down my spine and leaves me shivering and smiling in preparation for the rest of the album. 

Second up is “Harnessed in Slums”. I mean, this whole album’s sound is a tribute by misfits and outcasts for misfits and outcasts: the musically un-inclined, the thrown away, the disowned folks that are trying to find their own way. The harsher vocals in this track make it like a punk, tailor trash theme song. If you’re feeling dejected, come and get some vengeful vibes from this track. 

Let the Loser Melt”: the lyrics, vocals and all aspects of this song combine to create a jarring scene of getting stuck, unstuck, then stuck again. I love the sensations Archers are able to pull off within this song. We don’t know where we’re gonna get halted until it happens again and again. 

In their final track from “Vee Vee”, the “Underachievers March and Fight Song”, is an ode to frustration and freedom from stupid values hanging over all our heads. “Underachievers” calls all of us folks trying to get by with little friction to stand up and fight. The track might be a seven and a half minute t, but there’s a nice long four to five minute gap of silence then a chaotic clanging to finish the track and album. It does the most with very little effort, a true underachiever. 

Yee Yee

I love this album. It’s my favorite from Archers of Loaf’s suite of releases because of its discordant punk and indie rock fusions. The band is a North Carolina staple in the indie rock world where I hope Wednesday and younger bands can soon (or maybe they already have) replace them as this generation’s finest from North Carolina. 

If you haven’t spun this record or anything from Archers of Loaf already, definitely take some time to check them out. And, if you already love them like myself, then revisit and enjoy the wonderful sounds stemming from this wonderfully mediocre state.