American Football Vinyl, CD & tapes by American Football at Norman Records
Like so many other prominent emo and math-rock acts, American Football (band, not sport - take note Google) formed in a small town in the U.S.A.’s midwest. However, the group haven’t taken anything like the same journey as many of their contemporaries. Rather than building a reputation by constantly playing shows and churning out records, band member Mike Kinsella noted that America Football (band, not sport) ‘weren't kids who wanted to ... tour all summer’, preferring instead to continue at their own pace and even breaking up for a long while after releasing their first LP.
However, that 1999 debut has become enormously influential. Eponymous even if it is stylised as americ anfootball, it’s a quietly ambitious album - the complex time signature changes and dense, spidering guitar lines draw equally from Don Caballero, Slint, Johnny Marr and Steve Reich. Despite its lofty musical ambitions, American Football (album, not … you get the idea) manages to hang together as a record of good songs too, all of which are delivered in Kinsella’s instantly-recognisable pinched whinny. Achieving the rare feat of balancing challenging musical techniques with melodic immediacy, American Football (alb … yeah) shaped the sound of math-rock for years to come.
As the scene remade itself in their image American Football’s members pursued other projects such as Joan Of Arc, Owen, Make Believe and Owls. Reuniting in the mid-2010s, 2016’s americ anfootball (they did it again) and 2019’s americ anfootball (they did it again, again) managed to recapture the old magic. The latter featured guest appearances from Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, Paramore’s Hayley Williams and Land Of Talk’s Elizabeth Powell.
American Football (debut)