Album Review: American Football - American Football (LP3)

19 March 2019 | 11:19 am | Donald Finlayson

"Mike, this ain't a collaboration with fucking Timbaland! Sing from your heart, bro!"

More American Football More American Football

Not too long ago, before we were all up to our necks in sequels, reboots and remakes of every beloved cult classic from the '80s and '90s, there was once a time when people would say things like "God, I wish American Football would make another album!" How foolish we once were.

The original American Football album from 1999 is still the definitive soundtrack to having a cry in your mum's beat-up Subaru, and that's why it was such a shame that its long-awaited follow-up in 2016 was so lame and forgettable. But how about this new third album? Well thankfully, it's a bit better.

The spacious production applied to the band's sparkly little elf guitars sound lovely with a quality set of headphones, and there are some great moments of unexpected instrumentation like the keys and woodwind on Heir Apparent or the vibraphone on the opening track Silhouettes which feels straight outta Clarity-era Jimmy Eat World.

Where American Football sadly drop the ball (ey?) yet again is with the handling of their vocals and the writing of their melodies. Mike Kinsella, the Forrest Gump of Midwest emo, seems completely smitten with this idea of singing through a variety of vocal effects. Mike, this ain't a collaboration with fucking Timbaland! Sing from your heart, bro!

So while these new songs are unlikely to give your average emo the old gloomies, you do get the real sense that this album will grow on hardcore fans much more than its disappointing predecessor did.