Indie rock heroes Archers Of Loaf have returned with their first new album in 24 years, but instead of wallowing in nostalgia, they have moved forward, delivering a killer album that pushes their sound into new directions. If you think about it, they could have rehashed past glories and just stuck to the formula, so to speak, but instead, they were focused on making music in the present tense. That’s what makes Reason In Decline such a great album.
Upon first listen you’ll notice that vocalist Eric Bachman’s voice has changed. He no longer sings the way he sang, back in the day. His voice has changed. He sounds like a different singer. That might be off-putting to some, but once again, this just proves they aren’t here to rehash past glories. This is the 2022 version of AOL. In addition, they aren’t as concerned with drowning songs in feedback and noise as much as they did on their original run. However, there are a few songs (“Screaming Undercover,” “Breaking Even,” and “Misinformation Age”) that prove they still can, when they want to.
In addition, the lyrics are a bit more mature and deal with the growing up and the passage of time. “Human” deals with what it means to be human in our day and age, and that the only way out is through death. “The Moment You End” deals with similar themes. “Aimee” is a gentle song, while “In The Surface Noise” is a bit more noisy and deals with the passage of time. On it, Bachman takes on the role of a wise scene elder, singing to younger people just started out in bands, and life, too. “War Is Wide Open” is a heartfelt, piano led ballad, that closes out the album in quietly spectacular fashion.
Reason In Decline is an excellent “comeback” album for Archers Of Loaf. By refusing to play by their own rules, they have crafted a truly transcendent album. One that deals with the here and now. While, there are glimpses of their old selves on it, it’s more concerned looking forward instead of back. For that, it should be commended. In addition, they have also written a bunch of killer songs, which prove that the chemistry between the four of them, is still there. The fact they pull off all these feats on this album is quite amazing, and proves what a special band they are. They still got it.
Here’s to living in the present tense and looking forward instead of back.
Purchase Reason In Decline here.