American Football - “American Football” Album Review

posted April 2, 2019 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Jack Grossman

American Football has an interesting place in the alternative rock world. The group had already formed in the late 1990s before taking a break at the start of the millennium and reforming in the late 2010s.

The self-titled album, "American Football," released this year, proves itself to be an enigma in not only how they are marketed but how they sound. This new album is a creative hodgepodge of influences all wrapped up in an original and special sound. While only eight tracks, "American Football" still proves to be a very lengthy piece, littered with different styles that compliment each other as well as similar sounds that are consistent throughout the album. 

"Silhouettes" features hypnotic guitar, not unlike that of Thom Yorke, as well as iconic dream-inducing sounds similar to that of the Beach Boys. At the same time, Mike Kinsella's soft voice sounds very relaxed and has an underground-type feeling commonly found among bands such as Post Animal. This trend appears in similar songs, such as "Every Wave to Ever Rise" and "Doom in Full Bloom."

The band tries to make themselves a very mellow, low-sounding group while countering that balance with the loud instrumentals. This multi-layered sound can be both beneficial and harmful to the band, however.

Listeners who have trouble realizing that there is a balance of both sides may find themselves having a harder time listening and enjoying their music. While the balance is very well made by the band itself, it will definitely have to take several listens to really understand the cohesion of it, which might be off-putting to those who do not like to revisit albums. The appeal of all of these different pairings of sound are interesting enough to get them to return to it. It is able to break the barrier of only having one listen across the album as a whole, something that most obscure and underground artists normally do not receive.

"American Football" is an album that only circulates around every few years. The genius in the different styles and sounds is something that appears so rarely in the mainstream genre of rock that it is a breath of fresh air to be able to hear it. While it is certainly not one of the best albums of the year, it is one of the more notable because of their ability to be experimental and cohesive at the same time.

Hailing back to indie and rock icons of the past and trying to modernize it simultaneously is no easy task, and it is something American Football does right. Hopefully, they will release more projects in the next few years, and continue to be creating content that pays tribute to the past while standing on its own merit.

Rating: 7/10

Favorite Track: “Mine to Miss”

Least Favorite Track: “Heir Apparent”

 

 

Jack Grossman is a junior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jackdgrossman@gmail.com.