Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Consumer Guide Album

Archers of Loaf: All the Nations Airports [Alias, 1996]
What verbal content you can parse might be sardonic if it carried any emotional weight at all--conned customers, security from LAX to JFK, assassination on Christmas eve. Yet it's too hoarse and wild to seem detached or even deadpan; basically what it gives off is intelligence, as a given you live with rather than a goal you achieve. The import's in croaked, wild, intelligent music that's also virtuosic, especially up against the myriad alt bands who fancy themselves players these days. The controlled discord of the four instrumentals recalls the compositional smarts of Eric Bachmann's sax-based Barry Black, but the nasty little guitar lines have Eric Johnson all over them, and bass and drums put in their two bits as well. True, their WEA debut could be more songful. But don't blame them for making the most of the cognitive dissonance that is their lot. A-