Original copies of Icky Mettle, the first album by the iconic NC band Archers of Loaf, run anywhere from $50 to $100 these days — a little steep if you didn’t buy the record back in 1994. Unfortunately for those in elementary school in the early 90s, the three albums that followed are now long out of print, which is very unlucky for those same kids now in their early 20s trying to learn some tunes before shelling out more money for the reunion shows this summer (at least, those that don’t predate Icky’s release in August).
With impeccable timing, Merge has announced the glorious news that they will be reissuing all four LPs, on (blue) vinyl, CD, and as a download. Icky Mettle, following the chronology (and, let’s face it, popularity), comes first, and is given some remaster shine by none other than Shellac’s Bob Weston. To really pack it all in, they’re including some singles, B-sides, and the EP Archers of Loaf vs. The Greatest of All Time (1994), complete with liner notes by “Dean of American Rock Critics” (and long-time Village Voice music editor) Robert Christgau.
The release date for Icky Mettle isn’t until August 2, but you can pre-order the album now from Merge (which gives you the immediate gratification of a video download of their show at Chapel Hill/Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle this past January). The other reissues — Vee Vee, All the Nation’s Airports, and White Trash Heroes — will be out sometime in 2012.
To further ingratiate themselves with the new generation of early-20-year-olds, Archers of Loaf will appear on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on June 24. They’ve added a few more shows to the dates we announced here, so if you’re not properly excited for the reissues by the end of the summer, I don’t know what else they can do short of entering a boxing ring with Superchunk.
07.24.11 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
08.20.11 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
09.08.11 - Portland, OR - MusicFestNW
09.09.11 - Seattle, WA - Neumo’s