9 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Released in September of 1999, American Football's self-titled debut and only full-length album remains a classic in the annals of alternative music. A mix of math rock guitar figures, lo-fi drums, and barely melodic vocals, it stands between the inchoate indie punk that preceded it (Unwound, Built to Spill) and the more polished but no less anguished emo pop that would follow (Jimmy Eat World, Fall Out Boy). Taking cues from instrumental acts like Tristeza and Do Make Say Think, American Football infused their sound with jazz eclecticism, adding touches of trumpet to their interlocking guitar lines. Tracks like "Honestly" and "Never Meant" are a window into the mindset of indie kids at the turn of the millennium.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Released in September of 1999, American Football's self-titled debut and only full-length album remains a classic in the annals of alternative music. A mix of math rock guitar figures, lo-fi drums, and barely melodic vocals, it stands between the inchoate indie punk that preceded it (Unwound, Built to Spill) and the more polished but no less anguished emo pop that would follow (Jimmy Eat World, Fall Out Boy). Taking cues from instrumental acts like Tristeza and Do Make Say Think, American Football infused their sound with jazz eclecticism, adding touches of trumpet to their interlocking guitar lines. Tracks like "Honestly" and "Never Meant" are a window into the mindset of indie kids at the turn of the millennium.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

129 Ratings

Great music that gets better with each listen.

SnowingInSt.Paul,

I'm always a bit skeptical of the "We Also Recommend..." music that iTunes selects based on your purchases but this is one recommendation that was fantastic. Before this evening, I had no idea Amercian Football was even out there, however, I'm already a bit sad that they're no longer together. The music flows gracefully from one song to the next with a comfortable and memorable tone to the music. There's more instrumentation than words, however, it more than works for American Football--they never let it get dull or repetative. I'm a firm believer in the faith that music is a huge part of memories and moods and whether you're listening to it on a cold, snowy night or have it cranked from your car stereo on a warm summer evening's drive, this music is perfectly suited for the journey down whatever road you're travelling.

Modern Day Classic

Jacob?,

not much too say... personal lyrics thrown across beautiful instrumentals from Mike Kinsella (now of Owen and brother of Tim from Joan Of Arc). this is the kind of album that you'll be able to listen to 20 years from now. though it's sadly overlooked by many.

About American Football

American Football comprise vocalist/bassist/guitarist Mike Kinsella, guitarist Steve Holmes, and drummer/trumpet player Steve Lamos. Kinsella's emo/post-rock pedigree includes stints with bands like Cap'n Jazz and Joan of Arc; American Football share a similar aesthetic, blending jazzy tempos, pop hooks, and earnest vocals into their sound. The group released its self-titled debut EP in 1998 and its eponymous full-length in 1999 before abruptly breaking up after only a few years of existence. Kinsella went on to perform solo as Owen, as well as with his brother Tim in the equally elusive rock group Owls. American Football's legacy would grow following their dissolution, with new fans discovering their album as it went through various re-pressings over the years.

In 2014, the band reunited for a handful of sold-out shows in N.Y.C. to celebrate the album's 15th anniversary reissue, which included unreleased bonus tracks and demo recordings. They then took their reunion on the road, adding Kinsella's brother Nate on bass and playing packed houses in London, Tokyo, and around the world. It went so well that the band decided to record a new album. After writing new songs the quartet hit the studio for a couple months, updating their sound with age and experience, but still sounding remarkably like they did on their debut. Also titled American Football and released by Polyvinyl, the album was released in October of 2016. ~ Heather Phares

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