"At least not until we have chicks and money and stuff," Herder adds.
For a guitar-pop group to cite the Beatles as their most defining influence is redundant, if not essentially meaningless--like a hip-hop DJ crediting James Brown's sense of rhythm. But it's also telling. Twenty-one is too damn young for a local band to obsess over craft: Such preoccupations are best left to old-timers who've pissed away their quota of innovation. Still, Arch Stanton's fab heroes weren't just paragons of craftsmanship; they were a paradigm of a communal creative esprit. An older Lennon disparaged this image as prefab gimmickry, but it has nonetheless persisted as the ideal of how a band should collaborate and co-conspire.
Arch friends: Amiable pop practitioners (left to right) Brian Larson, Andy Herder, Matt Alexander, and Matt Hibbard
And if Beatlemania began as rebellion without politics, then each successive generation of Beatlemaniamania ended up as enthusiasm without rebellion--harmless, but not charmless. As the four members of Arch Stanton cross 24th Street against the light, Hibbard leaps up on Herder's back and they stagger down Lyndale, and I find myself hoping they don't allow their perfectionism to curtail their impulse to clown. After all, as that other British band from the '60s said once the initial illusion of youth-culture liberation wore off, it's only rock 'n' roll. Even if it's actually power pop.
Arch Stanton will perform on Wednesday, June 2 at the Turf Club; (651) 647-0486.