With Archers of Loaf, Eric Bachmann set the gold standard for the brainy, shredding side of indie rock in the '90s. The Chapel Hill, North Carolina, band dissolved in 1998 — but recently reemerged for reissues and reunions — leaving its leader to test his songwriting mettle in the decidedly more acoustic, even delicately bluesy, Crooked Fingers. On last year's Breaks in the Armor, however, Bachmann puts his nearly one-man-band chops in the service of tight, focused rocking: The songs are spare but still hard-charging, bitterly literate and allusive yet still tender enough for plainspoken lines like "You guard your love like a burden/Memory is a heavy load."
Two Idols for the Price of One: As if Bachmann's appearance in St. Louis weren't enough, John Vanderslice, a self-reliant producer and songwriter, opens with his protean, electronic-conscious tone poems.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.