Archers of Loaf
Chief insurgents in the 1990s North Carolina guitar revolution, the Archers kicked out some of the catchiest, most ferocious pop anthems this side of Superchunk's "Throwing Things" and Guided by Voices' Bee Thousand. The short, sweet "Web in Front" introduced the world at large to the Archers' chiming, warped guitars (see: Polvo, Pavement) and singer/guitarist Eric Bachman's nasal, nice-punk vocal grit. Ingratiating and abstractly sociopolitical, songs like "Lowest Part is Free," "Audiowhore," and "Harnessed in Slums" qualified as full-fledged calls-to-arms for the Chuck Taylor-clad set. But even as early as their second album, songs began to foreshadow aversion to the sometimes cold waters of mainstream success. In Vee Vee's "Greatest of All Time," Bachman offers a sympathetic hand to "the front man of the world's worst rock 'n' roll band" who's been placed on trial by a bunch of cigarette-smoking hipsters. The chorus resounds gravely as the jury decrees: "Throw him in the River, throw the bastard in the river." With each succeeding release the band seemed to shrink away from the accessible, eventually calling it quits altogether.