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Archers Of Loaf: White Trash Heroes

It's been exciting to witness the progression of Archers Of Loaf's uncompromising career, as the group evolves from a Chapel Hill indie buzz band (and the subject of a major-label bidding war) to an increasingly caustic, cranky-sounding bunch of curmudgeons. Not that Archers Of Loaf's members haven't always been curmudgeonly, but the new White Trash Heroes is surely their crabbiest yet. All The Nations Airports, the Archers' 1996 major-label debut, was a quietly seething, underrated commercial flop, but this is even less accessible, from the abrasive, arrhythmic, clamorous "Fashion Bleeds" to the plodding, spaced-out "Slick Tricks And Bright Lights," to the all-out screeching of "Banging On A Dead Drum." The inventive guitar work alone is worth the price of admission—particularly on the seemingly electronically enhanced "One Slight Wrong Move" and "Fashion Bleeds"—but those seeking quirky, hooky bile like the band's 1993 sort-of hit "Web In Front" may come away disappointed. The rest would do well to seek it out and revel in its antisocial charms.