When Archers of Loaf digitally released “Raleigh Days,” their first new song in over 20 years, in February, the plan was always to release it as a seven-inch on Record Store Day in April. That would’ve been last Saturday, but a certain little pandemic got in the way and postponed the annual record speculator’s holiday. The B-side to that single was being kept under wraps (although, uh, we maybe kinda spoiled it in our video about “Raleigh Days”...), but with the planned release coming later than intended, the cat’s now out of the bag: the second new Archers of Loaf recording since 1998 is a cover of “Street Fighting Man” by the Rolling Stones.
It’s kind of a weird one. The Archers were never a big cover band—the only one they released during their original tenure was on a Tom Waits tribute record, and a John Coltrane cover originally scheduled to be released on another tribute album in the ‘90s wasn’t actually released until 2012. Plus the bluesy swagger of the original isn’t really something you can hear in their own music. Perhaps that’s why they wanted to cover it—not only is the Stones classic an awesome song, of course, but it’s very different than what the band usually plays, letting them give their instruments a different kind of workout.
If you want to hear one of the best indie rock bands of the ‘90s cover rock ‘n’ roll royalty, you can listen to it on Bandcamp, Spotify or Soundcloud, or through the YouTube embed below.