American Football
American Football


5.0
classic

Review

by TheJunkhead USER (2 Reviews)
August 15th, 2012 | 58 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Don't leave home again..."

Ahh... American Football's self titled, their one and only LP (GRINDING MY TEETH). A record that is often labeled a "summer album" I, for some reason, find it to be overwhelmingly winter. I think of bright white snow on the trees, or eating marshallows around the campfire which is exumed by the coldest, harshest winter I've ever known. I know, that last example did not make much sense, but neither does this album. Because it boggles my mind how everytime I hear this album wintery snow comes to my mind, when I should be thinking of warm summer nights, skinny dipping at the lake, or skating at the good ol' skate park. But whether this album reminds you of the summer, the fall, the spring, the winter, or everything in between, I think one thing most music fans can agree on is that American Football's one and only LP (grinding my teeth yet again) is one for the ages.

American Football was a three-man indie band headed by singer, guitarist, and songwriter Mike Kinsella alongside Steve Holmes (guitar) and Steve Lamos (drums). One listen to the album's first track, and it is clear that these guys aren't just ***ing around. American Football's sound consists of complex, clean guitar melodies combined with flawless, gentle, yet complex drumming and the occassional horned instrument backing. For a band that lacks a bassist, this band achieves a very full and unique sound, with the second guitar often backing the first guitar with catchy, creative bass lines.

I have listened to this album many more times than I can count, yet while I'm listening to it as I'm writing, it still hits me like the first time I heard it. My favorite aspect of this album is definitely the amazingly catchy guitars. The guitarists really have a knack for picking up on unique progessions; and I'm not sure if there's one point in this record where the guitars are not going at it; not to say that the guitars are overwhelming by any means. This is one of, if not the most relaxing indie record I've heard in my life. The band plays together so flawlessly, so much so that if I listen to one track out of the album, I can't help myself but listen to the rest of it. It's that good.

Another obvious highlight of this album are the drums. The beats and fills placed throughout this album are extremely catchy and creative, and the drumming really helps make the album what it is. Mr. Lamos knows how to jam out, but most of the time he goes for the laidback groove route, which works perfectly in this album. As a drum player myself, I find myself appreciating his patience in letting the song develop, as well as driving the song without feeling the need to stick out. The drums are mixed expertly along with the rest of the band. They are slightly more quiet than the guitar, which in my opinion was a good move because the mixing is damn near perfect in my opinion.

The weakest aspect of this album is definitely the vocals. They aren't bad by any means, but compared to the quality and uniqueness of all other aspects of this album, they just don't live up to the talent. That being said, Mike Kinsella has a very soothing voice which works with the music quite well. My only gripe is the vocals seem to be very similar throughout most tracks, and his voice can be pitchy at times, but I find myself enjoying his voice more times than not.

There is not one weak track one this album, Honestly. And since every track on here is great, I don't feel like I should need to mention standout tracks, but for those of you who want an example of their talent, here ya go:

Standout tracks:

1. Never Meant
2. The Summer Ends
3. Honestly?
4. For Sure
5. You Know I Should Be Leaving Soon
6. But The Regrets Are Killing Me
7. I'll See You When We're Both Not So Emotional
8. Stay Home
9. The One With The Wurlitzer

Yes, I just copied and pasted every track. Just download the album, you won't be dissapointed.


user ratings (1446)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Paul Golden (5)
    ...

    Hogan CONTRIBUTOR (5)
    A world that can only be viewed through sound and emotion....

    John Fraser (5)
    Nostalgic, unique, and beautiful, American Football is an unmatchedly perfect summer indie...

    Scott Krasman (5)
    In a world where the days of summer are fading away and autumn is just around the corner, ...

  • Kyle Robinson (4.5)
    A short-lived but excellent page in Mike Kinsella's musical career, American Football offe...

    RJDBass (4)
    One of the best examples of 90s post-rock leaning bands....

    nutty_bar (4.5)
    American Football's one and only full length. This CD is very relaxing, and hard to put i...

related reviews

American Football EP

Comments:Add a Comment 
Calc
August 15th 2012


12252 Comments


I better not be disappointed...

TheSpirit
August 15th 2012


17930 Comments


judging by the album's average rating, it's doubtful you would be

GhettoHmbrglr
August 15th 2012


587 Comments


good shit yo

LifeAsAChipmunk
August 15th 2012


4854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I kinda was. Haven't listened in a while, though.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2012


23909 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album is kind of overrated but it's still super good

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2012


50587 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

No

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

minty901
August 15th 2012


2071 Comments


hmmm...

LifeAsAChipmunk
August 15th 2012


4854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Why would you say that?

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2012


50587 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

no

LifeAsAChipmunk
August 15th 2012


4854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No, Minty, no!

minty901
August 15th 2012


2071 Comments


never got into it. didn't so much feel like emo as it did average acoustic indie with slightly flat singing. i'll give it another go someday, i did spend a tenner on it after all.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2012


50587 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's about the mood bro, plus Never Meant is the best song ever

PlanningMyDeath
August 15th 2012


230 Comments


End of review is stupid.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2012


50587 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If you put a stand out track section at the end of your review you're gonna have a bad time



minty901
August 15th 2012


2071 Comments


as for the review. it isn't too bad for a first. you do a good job of describing what you like about the music. a couple of pointers though. don't waste time on going on about how other people have said to experience the music, how it's "supposed" to be a summer album. it's your review, tell us how you interpret the music, and be confident in your own opinions. there's no right answer. also, i personally would recommend holding back from trying to insert jokes or overly casual remarks in your review. i've found myself trying slip in wise cracks when writing reviews before, and although it sounds cool and it fits at the time, when you look back on it later on it you might realise it seems a bit forced.

minty901
August 15th 2012


2071 Comments


never meant annoys me. i think that's why i never listen to this, it gets off to a bad start. track 2 is really nice though, because it's softer and a bit more contemplative. are there more songs like track 2 later on?

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2012


50587 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

What part of best song ever don't you get

iFghtffyrdmns
August 15th 2012


7047 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

should 4.5 this but i'm far too badass

Spare
August 15th 2012


5313 Comments


didn't so much feel like emo as it did average acoustic indie with slightly flat singing
american football: "acoustic indie"

but yeah best album, just got 180 gram copy of this in the mail the other day fgm

minty901
August 15th 2012


2071 Comments


never meant is too bouncy. i don't want the same song over and over again, i just want more softer, slower and emotional songs. i honestly can't remember anything past the first 3 tracks from this album, because i don't like 1 and 3 isn't that great. i wonder whether the later songs are more like track 1 or more like track 2, because if its the latter, its probably worth me trudging through and giving this another chance.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy