August 26, 2008

Clicky Clicky 200 Steps Into The Light With Archers Of Loaf

Archers Of Loaf -- Vee VeeWe feel our proclivity to tie posts to a news peg has kept us from simply writing about our favorite songs. So herewith we inaugurate a new series called The Clicky Clicky 200. The series casts light upon the 200 tracks that we've listened to most, as tabulated by ITunes. Point of interest: the barrier to entry as we start the series is 27 plays, which is the amount received by track 200, The Association's 1967 pop hit "Windy," a favorite of the missus.

But we're not going to go in any set order, so the first tune we'll write about is actually #198, '90s noise-pop heroes Archers Of Loaf's "Step Into The Light." The song opened the North Carolina-based quartet's sophomore collection Vee Vee, which we were fortunate enough to receive on vinyl for free as part of the spoils of being music director in college. At the time of its release "Step Into The Light" seemed like a departure for the band, whose first album and early singles were less introspective and a touch more straightforward. "Step Into The Light," by contrast patiently plods like a long, measured series of breaths. Fronter Eric Bachmann (now a solo artist) quietly pleads "step into the light, so tired of being in the dark and all alone," but the real grabber is bassist Matt Gentling's mournful holler in the background "step into the ligggggggghhhhhhht!" Bob Weston's wonderfully naturalistic production renders the guitars bristly and the drums crisply boxy (seems like an oxymoron, here it's not), but the composition itself is a slow, airy trudge. Compared to the early Archers Of Loaf material the track borders on cinematic. We're posting the album version and a live recording below; you can also grab it and a whole mess of other free Archers downloads over at the band's page. Incidentally, we predict an Archers reunion in the next couple of years, maybe a festival one-off or something. For now, "Step Into The Light" is #198 in The Clicky Clicky 200.

Archers Of Loaf -- "Step Into The Light" -- Vee Vee
Archers Of Loaf -- "Step Into The Light (Live)" -- Tramps, NYC, 26 Nov 1996
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