Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Arcwelder - 20th Century Masters: The Singles Collection (1992-95)

It's been eight years since I've broached the topic of Arcwelder, a band that was an indispensable soundtrack staple of my collegiate years.  So why the drought you might ask?  In a nutshell, their record label for the better part of the '90s, Touch and Go has done a fine job of keeping their albums commercially available all these years.  Sure, you might be a bit hard pressed to find hard copies of Pull, Xerxes, Entropy and Everest at your local record watering spout, they're for the taking (at $8.99 apiece) from the usual suspects.  And you really should invest a little time and some well-earned samolians to hear some on Arcwelder, a guitar-driven Twin Cities power trio, who were clandestine proteges of yet a considerably more renown Mpls power trio from exactly one decade prior (catch my drift)?

Truth be told, there are a few Arcwelder morsels that never made it into the digital age, starting with a 1992 single, featuring two less-than-obvious choices for covers, The Beatles and Prince.  To this day, I'm still debating which fares better.  The boys delivered yet another 7" slab in '92, featuring the rumbling, yet tunefully assaulting A-side "Raleigh" plucked straight from their Pull long-player.  It was backed with two exclusive goodies, including "Walls" which careens and juxtaposes between chilly verses and a killer chorus hook.  Arcwelder's last official 45, offering "Captain Allen" from the then forthcoming Entropy album, also brandished a cover of the Volcano Suns signature tune, "White Elephant" for it's b-side.  A straightforward but gratifying spin on that classic post-punk nugget I might add.  Finally, I'm capping off this lil' collection with the band's contribution to a 1998 Chunklet fanzine CD compilation.  How does a rendition of The Move's lighthearted "Cherry Blossom Clinic" grab you?  BTW, a fourth Arcwelder single exists of "Favor" and "Plastic," both of which also appeared on the band's out-of-print second album, Jacket Made in Canada, which you can check out in full alongside their debut This, right here.

PS:  Arcwelder released a 1988 single when they were originally going under the guise of Tiltawhirl.  Sadly, I'm not in possession of this record.  

01. I Am the Walrus
02. Sign o' the Times
03. Raleigh
04. Walls
05. Rosa
06. Captain Allen
07. White Elephant
08. Cherry Blossom Clinic

1 & 2 - covers 7" (1992, Big Money Inc)
3-5 - Raleigh 7" (T&G)
6 & 7 - Captain Allen 7" (T&G)
8 - The Money Shot! compilation (Chunklet magazine)

MP3  or  FLAC


donaldosborn said...

Thanks for this. I never collected their vinyl, but saw them all the time back in the day and have the cds. Fun hearing these covers again that we used to hear at the shows. No "Fast Car" though. Anyway, much appreciated.

Jeff said...

Holy crap. I didn't know this band even put out singles. I never think about that stuff, actual physical singles with b-sides were just starting to go by the wayside when I started buying music. Thank you.

Doug Kubert said...

Awesome post. Arcwelder is one of those quintessentially overlooked midwestern bands from the '90s. I've never heard the Tiltawhirl single, but was lucky enough to find a copy of their Tiltawhirl LP: http://bit.ly/1QynNmk It still holds up as a really great record, as does all the Arcwelder discography.

spavid said...

Glad you're enjoying this folks. They covered "Fast Car?" I can imagine that being either really good or really hideous. Definitely one of the best kept secrets in Midwest indie rock.

Peter Tron said...

found it on youtube:


dgen said...

Arcwelder for the win.