Is there anything much better than a good alternative rock song from the '90s? In my opinion, not really. Archers of Loaf play some bastardized version of Pavement and Leatherface. They wear their heart on their sleeve, but why is never really addressed. The lyrics on this record are nonsensical and in general lack substance. The guitar playing on this album is amazing and some of the best '90s indie rock songs are found on 'Icky Mettle'.
archers of loaf's 'icky mettle'
Archers of Loaf had a weird career. Their first couple albums seemed very punk based and extremely one track. As they grew older their music morphed into very polished, but still very different alternative rock. 'White Class Heroes' saw the band experimenting with almost Brian Enoesque synths. Their first two records really sound the best for me, but their entire discography is very underrated. Very few indie rock bands grasp the idea that while music can be hook oriented it should also retain a certain amount of "rock". Archers of Loaf's first two records seem to be released in the heyday of '90s indie rock and easily two of the best from that period as well. Grungey, but poppy the group made sonic experiments with clear cut anthems. Its rare you get an indie rock band that possesses the ability to capture both perfectly. Usually a band is either very tame or very aggressive, the key to creating memorable pop music is messing with dynamics. Many groups in the '90s as experimental as they got always retained the poppy hooks and general structure of pop tunes. This is why in my mind the music of this period is the best in terms of 'indie rock'.