No matter what happens, the past always seems to catch up with the present, and for American Football, that was exactly what occurred. Back in 1997, when the formation of this small Illinois band was brought to life, it seemed as though they had the world at their fingertips and anything was possible. All brought together through the passion and virtues of music, Mike Kinsella, Steve Lamos, Steve Holmes, and Nate Kinsella could all be found playing in local bands and doing what they do best. Just when their careers were starting to downshift, the attention moved from their dwindling drive with past creations, to new and exciting things on the horizon; after connecting, and re-bonding for some, American Football was born.
Releasing an EP in 1998 and a full-length album in 1999, three years later, the band split and decided to go their separate ways. With a growing, yet disappointed fan base, the guys in American Football took on personal side projects and not much was heard from the group collectively until 2014. With shimmering hope in the distance, all turned golden when they announced a few shows to be played in the New York area; soon adding worldwide dates thereafter. It was not long until their new self-titled studio album became aware to the public and all was whole again.
With some old, and definitely new, fans clinging onto the news of the bands re-kindled attire, American Football was at their prime and it has not changed coming into their newest set. Released on October 21, 2016 via Polyvinyl Records, the band has the world at their fingertips once again, proving music can pretty much solve anything. That said, taking something so minuscule and making it miraculous is a true skill that the guys of American Football have mastered.
Soft and soothing are two attributes that can be found in most tracks. American Football gets the ball rolling with a slight and delicate foundation. “Where Are We Now” is airy and light, getting any listener hooked right from the start. Truly a work of art, American Football know just what they are doing. Quite similar, but blissfully and almost painfully honest, “My Instincts Are The Enemy” and “Home Is Where The Haunt Is” can tug at any set of heartstrings. With a beautiful and tasteful blend of instrumentation, these pieces are truly something else.
With chill vibes and lyrics to die for, “Born To Lose” is tremendously sad, but can almost calm the soul. If it was not for their ability to create something full of complexity, but be effortlessly rich in quality, American Football would have nothing. Continuing on with this well-known theme, “I’ve Been So Lost For So Long” is so true it almost hurts. Taking fragile subjects and making them conversable, listeners are sure to take something away from each piece other than tranquility. Almost just adding another layer of intricacy to decipher, “Give Me The Gun” has a brilliant mix of orchestration and perfectly highlights the poetic lyrics.
Obviously one of the best from the record, “I Need A Drink (or Two, or Three)” just might be the most honest out of the bunch. Strenuously relatable, it is almost sad to say some can understand completely. If it was not for their troublingly honest music, it is hard to tell where the band would be today. Slightly upbeat, “Desire Gets In The Way” turns a new leaf for American Football; unlike most, this track is just what listeners need to be picked up. Closing out yet another incredible record, “Everyone Is Dressed Up” just goes to show the immense amount of pure passion that is held within this small group of guys. Listeners can truly say they have a unique and heartwarming band that all of their friends would be into.
American Football circa 1997 is nothing, but almost everything like they are today; with the same passion, drive, and talent, only heightened for a whole new generation to see. Nothing compares to soft, inspirational tunes that will melt into beauty and fulfill every expectation. Raw energy is the foundation to each track produced and can make anyone fall in love. Listeners of all kinds are thankful for the continuous, delightful thrills and hard work put into every creation. CrypticRock gives American Football 4 out of 5 stars.