June 6, 2011

Today's Hotness: Archers Of Loaf, Dinosaur Jr., The Books

Icky Mettle
>> Merge Records announced Friday it will reissue all four full-lengths from seminal North Carolina indie rockers Archers Of Loaf, beginning with a remastered and expanded version of the quartet's 1993 debut long player Icky Mettle. Icky Mettle has been remastered by Bob Weston (who also recorded the band's devastatingly great 1995 full-length Vee Vee), and the reissue will include period-appropriate singles, b-sides and the completely bulletproof -- perhaps the greatest indie rock EP ever released -- Archers Of Loaf vs. The Greatest Of All Time. The expanded Icky Mettle will be issued Aug. 2 on CD and limited edition blue vinyl, and will also be available as digital download. Reissues of the aforementioned Vee Vee, All The Nation's Airports and White Trash Heroes (all of which were previously released on Alias, we believe) are slated for release in 2012.

Archers Of Loaf formed in 1991 in Chapel Hill (by way of Asheville), and along with Superchunk, The Connells, Small 23 (which at one time also featured Archers fronter Eric Bachmann on guitar) and countless others, helped establish the town and surrounding region as a mecca for indie rock. The quartet disbanded in 1998, but the Archers recently reunited and have 17 dates booked over the rest of the summer -- sadly none of the current shows are in Boston. For full dates and additional information, check out this post at the Merge Records blog.

>> Speaking of reissues and older stuff, it was disclosed today that Joyful Noise Recordings will reissue indie legends Dinosaur Jr's 1988 opus Bug -- the final record the band recorded with the original lineup intact before the reunion in the middle 2000s -- in a limited edition of 250 hand-numbered, purple cassettes with original eight-panel insert. Only half of those cassettes are being sold by the label online, and we wouldn't be surprised if they were already sold out (we just clicked the buy link and it still looks live). The other 125 copies will be sold by Dinosaur Jr this summer during its 15-date tour in which the band is playing Bug in its entirety. The 2011 Bug tour kicks off in Northampton, Massachusetts on June 21 and comes to Boston's Paradise Rock Club June 22.

>> The Books' Nick Zammuto disclosed at his blog Friday he is planning a new band that will perform new music he has been writing; the band will be a trio or quartet and Mr. Zammuto hopes the act will play shows before the year is out. A non-final version of one new song, "Yay," was posted to Soundcloud for a couple days over the weekend, but is now gone. However, folks who visit the Zammuto Soundcloud page will find a treasure trove of music to enjoy, not the least of which are several remastered songs from each of The Books' first three full lengths. The three records -- Thought For Food, The Lemon of Pink, and Lost And Safe [review] -- were re-mastered, re-designed and re-released by Temporary Residence after The Books signed on to the label for the release of last year's characteristically wonderous The Way Out; we reviewed The Way Out here last July. Check out four remastered tracks from The Books' fantastic Lost And Safe below, including the Clicky Clicky fave "Twelve Fold Chain." Zammuto intends to continue releasing new tracks for limited amounts of time, so if you are on the Soundcloud you'd be wise to start following him stat.

4 Tracks from Lost and Safe by The Books