DEADLIGHTS with The Comfort, Vitals + VAELA – Crowbar, Brisbane – 21st April, 2017 Walking …
The notion of a ‘comeback’ album is already a dubious one, especially when your debut is often considered to be a classic, and the signpost for an entire genre. Not to mention the added pressure of taking over 15 years to record your follow-up.
On LP #2, American Football aren’t so much chasing their youth as the early purveyors of ‘emo’, as they are confidently repurposing it. 2016 finds vocalist/guitarist Mike Kinsella & Co moving comfortably into middle age; most members have established careers outside of music, where it’s not necessary for them to list ‘Godfathers of Emo’ on their CV’s. But it’s this wise-beyond-their-year’s approach to the twinkly, shimmering guitar soundscapes already developed on their eponymous debut, that makes this new effort truly shine. The group’s instrumentals are tight, lush and fully-realized in both scope and vision, as evidenced by the lashing rhythms of single I’ve Been So Lost for So Long, or the beautifully textured outro on Born To Lose.
American Football shows that this Mid-West four piece can proudly stand toe-to-toe with today’s contemporary emo groups, who their own career helped to inspire into action.
Kinsella’s lyricism is sharper and more insightful than the ambiguous reflections of his younger self, a progression no doubt bolstered by his longstanding tenure as indie solo artist Owen. On standout Home Is Where The Haunt Is, Kinsella waxes philosophical by noting that “Some things never change/Maybe that’s OK?”, while also getting downright saucy on the upbeat Desire Gets In The Way, when he affirms: “For you, I’ll remain/Chained to the bed we made/But I get to choose, your lingerie.” It might be a new spin on an old sound, but American Football shows that this Mid-West four piece can proudly stand toe-to-toe with today’s contemporary emo groups, who their own career helped to inspire into action.
Stick This Next To: Into It. Over It. – Everyone Everywhere – Algernon Cadwallader
Standout Tracks: My Instincts Are The Enemy – I Need A Drink (or Two or Three) – Home Is Where The Haunt Is
American Football is out October 21 through Wichita Recordings/[PIAS].