Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Treepeople + Archers of Loaf

In the spirit of all those Teriyaki Asthma singles and my long-running desire to showcase bands from my home state of North Carolina, I thought it would make sense to build a post around this great double 7" release by Treepeople and Archers of Loaf. To boot, I recently saw the Archers on their reunion tour, although due to a scheduling snafu by one of my friends and the fact that the show started exactly on schedule, I missed almost their entire set, which was a bummer. By the way, what's up with bands actually starting on time these days? Is everyone getting old? Or are clubs starting to be all professional and shit? I'm not really complaining, as it is nice to get out of a club having seen three acts by midnight, but it feels a bit odd somehow.

Anyway, for those who don't know, Archers of Loaf were, alongside Superchunk and Polvo, one of the early-90s indie rock bands from Chapel Hill to "make it" on a national scale. They formed in 1991 and released their first album Icky Mettle in 1993. This classic has recently been reissued by Merge and the new version contains much of the material that I am posting here. As always, I encourage you to go pick that up if you'd like a clean copy of these songs. The band consists of Eric Johnson, Matt Gentling, Mark Price, and Eric Bachmann (later of Barry Black and Crooked Fingers). Treepeople were from the opposite side of country, having formed in Seattle after its various members left Boise, Idaho: Scott Schmaljohn, Wayne Rhino Flower, Pat Brown, and Doug Martsch (later of Built to Spill). They didn't take off in quite the way that the Archers did, but they definitely established a place for themselves in the PNW scene. (See their previously-posted appearance on Teriyaki Asthma VIII.) Their line-up changed over the years, most notably when Martsch left to form Built to Spill around 1993/94.

That was right around the moment that this single was recorded. The idea here was that each of the two bands would contribute one new song and one cover of a song by the other band. This leads us to the alluring prospect of hearing Doug Marsch sing "Web in Front" but sadly I believe he had already left the band at this point. At least it doesn't sound like his voice, and the single doesn't include line-ups for the bands - does anyone know whether its him or Schmaljohn singing? Regardless, this is a powerful selection of four songs by two great bands, and well worth a listen.

Treepeople + Archers of Loaf double 7", 1994
Sonic Bubblegum, no. 16

A. Treepeople, "Meet at the End" (4:04)
B. Treepeople, "Web in Front" (2:24)
C. Archers of Loaf, "Quinnbeast" (3:38)
D. Archers of Loaf, "Funnelhead" (2:51)

To give a bit of context for that single, I thought it would be nice to also share Treepeople's first single, from 1989. This one does feature Martsch and the rest of the band in full glory. They sound just slightly ahead of their time, considering this is from the (late) 80s - unlike, say, Nirvana's early output, this could easily be mistaken as having been written after indie/grunge/whatever became so much more mainstream a few years later.

Treepeople 7", 1989
Silence, no. 2

A. "Important Things" (4:24)
B1. "Handcuffs" (3:51)
B2. "In My Head" (2:10)

Sadly I don't have Archers of Loaf's first single (the stunning Wrong/South Carolina), but I do have their second one, which fittingly includes "Web in Front" to compare with Treepeople's version. This was the band's first big hit, and it still sounds great today.

Archers of Loaf, The Loaf's Revenge 7", 1993
Alias, no. 41

A1. "Web in Front" (2:05)
A2. "Bathroom" (1:45)
B. "Tatyana" (4:37)

Finally, since the Archers songs above have all been released on their Speed of Cattle comp or otherwise reissued on the new Icky Mettle release, I thought you might like to hear this single from a few years later, featuring "Harnessed in Slums" off their second LP, Vee Vee, plus a pretty great flipside that to my knowledge has not been otherwise released (yet).

Archers of Loaf, Harnessed in Slums 7", 1995
Alias, no. 72

A. "Harnessed in Slums" (3:12)
B. "Telepathic Traffic" (2:59)

Get all four singles here. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

I can't believe this is back up & running. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

With all these links gone is possible to up them again on another site? I really want this Treepeople stuff in digital format!

saxaphoneplaya said...

one more re-up, if you would/could would be mega-appreciated! cheers