American Football: American Football
- It’s been a long summer vacation for Illinois emo-pioneers, American Football, but LP2 stays true to nearly-forgotten-form, picking up just where the boys left off almost two decades ago; providing the perfect soundtrack to the heartbreak-during-the-homecoming-dance montage from any of your favourite teen dramas.
Reminiscent of being fifteen, donning my Jimmy Eat World tee-shirt and whinging about Brisbane not having enough all-ages venues, the nostalgic quality of American Football’s sophomore release is enough to make my black heart flutter.
By receiving LP2 as exactly what it is, without precedent, you can get lost in it’s fragility and feel encompassed by a warm cocoon of melancholy. The band, unperturbed by the immense weight of following up their self-titled debut (that has been touted as a rite of passage for budding emos navigating the genre) pick up right where they left off. Delivering an album specifically constructed to make you feel, vocalist Mike Kinsella’s earnest, pensive warble provokes introspection and catharsis aplenty.
Instrumentally, Desire Gets In The Way cuts through the woe shrouding the record by incorporating lifting, joyful trumpet and intricate guitar swells but lyrically, never strays far from the overarching motifs of aching, longing and isolation.
Home Is Where The Haunt Is spotlights plucky acoustic guitar and delicate xylophone that offset the traditional indie rock compositional themes apparent throughout the rest of the record. Subtly addressing their formula for emo-royalty status, Kinsella croons “Some things never change / Maybe that’s ok.”
The band tread a fine line between staying true to their emo roots and stagnation, struggling to expand on genre tropes, American Football play up to the sentimentality and romanticised sadness young, privileged teenagers felt in the late '90s and early naughties. Transporting me back to my music coming-of-age, the new record reminds me too much of that initial love affair with Dashboard Confessional and The Get Up Kids not to want to fleetingly revisit heavy eyeliner, plaid button ups and incorporating several LP2 songs onto a mixtape for my boyfriend. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go and cry over my first love who broke up with me via myspace message.
- Fiona Priddey.
Album Title: American Football
Artist: American Football
Record Label: (Wichita / Mushroom)