Icky Mettle [Deluxe Edition]

  • Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Aug 2, 2011
Metascore
94

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
Buy On
  1. Aug 19, 2011
    90
    Icky Mettle might have a reputation for containing a one-trick pony and the band's singular best known moment in the form of "Web in Front," but there's a wealth of material to really dig into and enjoy.
  2. Aug 5, 2011
    90
    This self-fulfilling fatalism is at the heart of innumerable rock songs by innumerable bitter young men, but it is rarely expressed with the introspective clarity that Bachmann displays throughout Icky Mettle.
  3. Uncut
    Aug 18, 2011
    80
    Their 1993 debut, remastered by Bob Weston with b-sides and rarities, treads similar--of less self-consciously clever--ground to Crooked rain-era Pavement, with dissonant, spiky guitars piercing surprisingly melodic college radio favorites. [Sep 2011, p.79]
  4. Aug 5, 2011
    90
    They perfected the genre moves: bracing attack, two-guitar blurs of dissonance and beauty, a sympathetic barker wringing emotion from lyrics about the insular rock scene and girls who stalked it.
  5. Under The Radar
    Aug 8, 2011
    90
    Let's hope this superb reissue, replete with loads of essential "7 singles and ephemera remedies that, and introduces this seminal band to a new generation of indie rock fans. [Jul 2011, p.90]
  6. Dec 14, 2011
    80
    Overall it's about as perfect as introduction to the band as you're likely to get, and perhaps a timely chance to give the Archers an opportunity to climb back into the upper echelons of your record collection.
  7. Aug 8, 2011
    91
    The new double-disc edition of Icky Mettle explains why hopes for AoL were so high, and why those hopes may have been misplaced.
  8. Dec 22, 2011
    100
    Brimming with character and endlessly relistenable, Icky Mettle is something of a touchstone for one of US indie's purplest patches.
  9. Aug 5, 2011
    80
    It's indie rock as hearty and art-free as oatmeal, before the line separating it from the mainstream dissolved, before it became so...eclectic.
  10. Entertainment Weekly
    Aug 10, 2011
    100
    The reissue of their 1993 debut rescues a bevy of lost single, further cementing Icky;s status as a holy grail of lovely, rumpled passion. [5 Aug 2011, p.75]
  11. 80
    If anything, the extras better inform the choices eventually made on the band's debut, highlighting just how great a record it turned out to be (since, basically, they'd been doing it from song one). Put simply, Icky Mettle is a gem of early '90s rock worthy of a place in the indie Smithsonian.
  12. Aug 5, 2011
    94
    Barring some future set that includes vials of the musicians' blood, sweat, and tears, this will stand as the definitive version of Icky Mettle-an answered prayer to new and old fans that makes these songs sound startlingly present.
  13. Aug 5, 2011
    90
    The early material is interesting, if only to hear how "Web in Front" and "Wrong" were fleshed out on Icky Mettle. But it's the album, and The Greatest of All Time, that are the real draw here.
  14. Aug 9, 2011
    100
    When listening to Icky Mettle, you feel included, like they're the crew you've known your entire life. The fact that it's both very relevant today and a thrilling snapshot of the restlessly creative 90's underground is no small achievement.
  15. Aug 5, 2011
    89
    1993's Icky Mettle thumps Warp's warpath between lo-fi sad sackery ("You and Me") and shitstorm post-post punk ("Sick File"). The Archers of Loaf vs. The Greatest of All Time EP ignites a bonus disc as anthemic as 1977 Clash ("Bathroom").
  16. Aug 15, 2011
    90
    Icky Mettle rocks. Hard.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Oct 27, 2011
    5
    I listened to this a few hours ago, and not one song sticks in my memory. It's a forgettable release. All the songs sound the same, for theI listened to this a few hours ago, and not one song sticks in my memory. It's a forgettable release. All the songs sound the same, for the most part. Full Review »
  2. Nov 13, 2011
    6
    Love the musicianship! This is rocking at it's best!.......There's a problem, though. I don't hate my girlfriend, or my wife for that matter.Love the musicianship! This is rocking at it's best!.......There's a problem, though. I don't hate my girlfriend, or my wife for that matter. But, I do hate whiny freaking EMO! Full Review »
  3. Oct 13, 2011
    10
    You can't get more raw or brash than Icky Mettle. Untrained ears may cringe at the crunchy, screeching guitars and slightly sour vocals, butYou can't get more raw or brash than Icky Mettle. Untrained ears may cringe at the crunchy, screeching guitars and slightly sour vocals, but indie rock fans will assure you that this album is perfect. It has everything you could ever want from an indie record: layered guitar sounds, crude vocals, an over-abundance of energy, and generally a lack of production or value for money. When you discover that the whole album was made over the course of about a week and - according to lead singer Eric Bachmann - only cost around $5,000 to make, you'll probably think that Icky Mettle will just be a waste of your time and cash -- that is, until you listen to it. Full Review »