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American Football - American Football (Cover Artwork)

American Football

American Football: American FootballAmerican Football (1999)
Polyvinyl Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Mike Kinsella has done a lot of good in the world of music. From his work in Cap'n Jazz to Owls and Joan Of Arc, to his most recent project Owen, the man is just as versatile as he is talented. Immensely. He doesn't always have to be the centerpiece of the band, as he only handled guitar duties in J.
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Mike Kinsella has done a lot of good in the world of music. From his work in Cap'n Jazz to Owls and Joan Of Arc, to his most recent project Owen, the man is just as versatile as he is talented. Immensely. He doesn't always have to be the centerpiece of the band, as he only handled guitar duties in Joan Of Arc, and he's played drums, bass, and keyboards at one time or another. The man has truly done it all.

In 1999, Kinsella joined up with guitarist Steve Holmes and drummer/trumpet player Steve Lamos. The result of this collaboration was the self-titled masterpiece, American Football. The result of such diverse musicians coming together is a blend of many influences, from jazzy tempos and earnest, heartfelt vocals, to clean, lulling guitars. This is a relaxing record, but it will retain your attention, rather than put you to sleep as some similiar bands often can. It's as engaging as it is honest, which very well might be it's most redeeming quality.

There's not a lot of Kinsella's vocals here, which, oddly enough, works in its favor, letting you get the full experience of the amazing instrumentation. The weird time signatures are especially prevalent throughout the duration of the record, but never fail to keep an interesting path through each song. The guitar textures keep everything at a fairly mellow pace throughout, though spots of a more up tempo American Football shine through on tracks like "I'll See You When We're Not Both So Emotional." This is one of the heavier tracks in terms of vocals, and keeps an engaging and captivating beat throughout. The tempos vary as well as the instruments themselves. "The One With The Wurlizter" showcases Lamos' skill on the trumpet. It gives the song a real authentic jazz sound, and really says a lot for the diversity of what this record can truly be. Whether the tempo is at a foot tapping pace, or a smooth, beautiful tone, the instrumentation is tight, and the songs crafted to perfection.

On par with the music itself are Kinsella's thoughtfully and intelligently constructed lyrics. There's a certain air of regret, not only felt in the vocals themselves, but exemplified by the lyrics. In "Never Meant," Kinsella sings "So let's just pretend / Everything and anything / Between you and me / Was never meant" with a definite feel of regret. You can feel each word coming out of the liner notes, and it only gets stronger when you hear the words put to music. I'm sure there are people who will complain that the lyrics are too "emo," in the Rolling Stone Magazine-calling-Dashboard-emo sense of the word. But these aren't the kind of lyrics you'll find in the newest Matchbook Romance CD, just being somber for the sake of it. This is emotion, and is well thought out. The lyrics almost seem like riddles at times, as in "For Sure;" "Imagine us together / We're relatively stable / And tentatively able / To say for certain / Whether this uncertainty is for sure," laments Kinsella. The lyrics are few and far between, but strategically placed. At the height of the music, you'll find the peak of Kinsella's lyrical brilliance. Like a chess game, he knows just where to put each piece for maximum effect.

This is a well, well made CD. If you're a fan of anything Kinsella has done, or are looking for a good place to start, my suggestion to you is to find a copy of this. It's a long way off from Cap'n Jazz, but it couldn't be in a better place.

Varying tempos, tight musicianship that will play off every emotion struck by the lulling chords, and the lyrics that paint every picture that was otherwise left out. This is a complete package.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
eatdogs (September 15, 2009)

so many bands are playing this style of music these days. it just goes to show how important and inspiring this one album (and ep) have been. i still listen to this all the time.

Apeman_on_the_Moon (September 13, 2008)

I put this record on every once in a while when I am trying to sleep, and I just end up laying in bed, listening to it, not even trying to sleep. One of those records that I highly doubt I will ever "grow out" of, muscial taste wise.

skasticks (December 30, 2007)

Aside from being just about musically perfect, this is sonically one of the best sounding albums I've ever heard.

RondoMondo (July 11, 2007)

Best album ever.

david_arquette (October 21, 2006)

This is one of the greatest records ever created.

dangertrevor (June 22, 2006)

I love this album, and also, Owen is the shit.

Anonymous (January 26, 2006)

This cd is a classic ( in agreement with another post). Its amazing, simply amazing.

Anonymous (January 26, 2006)

This cd is a classic ( in agreement with another post). Its amazing, simply amazing.

Anonymous (December 28, 2004)

This is one of those cds that is always in my rotation. I would go as far to say it's a classic. This is the signature downstate IL sound.

Anonymous (December 28, 2004)

i spent some of christmas eve playing mike tyson's punch out. my brother and i had no problem getting to tyson. then we systematically got owned one uppercut at a time.

that face-tattoo sporting ear biting rapist is one mean mother.

score is for punch out. and for the band reviewed here that i'm sure to check out.

WNB
-jd

Anonymous (December 25, 2004)

I am so fucking gay. I seriously love taking it up the ass. But I only have the courage to state it in reviews that have been bumped down the bottom of the page.

-inspection 12

soulbleed (December 24, 2004)

this is one of the most underappreciated releases in the last ten years. mike kinsella owns.

Anonymous (December 23, 2004)

007 373 5963

takes you right to mike tyson.

i have no idea why i still remember that...

Anonymous (December 23, 2004)

a hand...

Anonymous (December 23, 2004)

the maturity level of the posters on this site never ceases to amaze me.

Anonymous (December 23, 2004)

Probably the fingers marks caused by his hand being constantly latched onto it.

mateo (December 23, 2004)

what the fuck is that thing between the balls and head? this score is for the dick below me...

Anonymous (December 23, 2004)

Score's for this dick.

(__(__)==[jjjj]========lD~~ ~~ American Football Sux~ ~ ~

Anonymous (December 22, 2004)

about time this gets reviewed....great cd

Anonymous (December 22, 2004)

I can beat Mike Tyson' Punch Out with ease. I could never do it as a kid but when I was like 21I didn't work for like a month and became the master at both Mike Tyson's Punch Out and Super Punch Out for SNES.

I like Cap' N Jazz alot. American Football is a good band but I dont go crazy over them.
randondipshit

Anonymous (December 22, 2004)

I can beat Mike Tyson' Punch Out with ease. I could never do it as a kid but when I was like 21I didn't work for like a month and became the master at both Mike Tyson's Punch Out and Super Punch Out for SNES.

I like Cap' N Jazz alot. American Football is a good band but I dont go crazy over them.

Anonymous (December 22, 2004)

cap'n jazz was amazing.

sickboi (December 22, 2004)

I love you Dave

insinceredave (December 22, 2004)

This is actually very good. Whats with all the good reviews lately? even jesse seems happy.

Merry Christmas to all

-insincere dave

sickboi (December 22, 2004)

I beat Mike Tyson's Punch Out. If you really like it, play Wade Hixton's Counter Punch on Gameboy Advance, it's almost exactly the same, except you are some mullet-sporting redneck. Awesome.

Anonymous (December 22, 2004)

good review.

ThriveToFailure (December 22, 2004)

"I bought for my girlfriend for Christmas."

Really? How much was she? Do you get to keep her beyond the holidays.or does she have to go back?

...sorry, couldn't resist.

Anonymous (December 22, 2004)

I raped my goldfish. He's in toilet heaven now.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (December 22, 2004)

A. Listen to Colossal...think American Football...but fun. And because Asian Man records gives you more scene points (if you openly like good ska music)

B. Leave Matchbook Romance out of this prickass, theyre good friends of mine, friggin dick. you friggin jackass whore, you god damn scenster douuuuuuuche. you stupid white bastard.

C. I like American Football, I also like Owen...I bought for my girlfriend for Christmas.

D. Whore

a-fuck you
b- stop being a bitch
c-riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight, giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirlfried, wink wink
d.-yes your mom is awhore
-Chinatown

Anonymous (December 22, 2004)

A. Listen to Colossal...think American Football...but fun. And because Asian Man records gives you more scene points (if you openly like good ska music)

B. Leave Matchbook Romance out of this prickass, theyre good friends of mine, friggin dick. you friggin jackass whore, you god damn scenster douuuuuuuche. you stupid white bastard.

C. I like American Football, I also like Owen...I bought for my girlfriend for Christmas.

D. Whore

Anonymous (December 21, 2004)

Punchout is pretty easy to beat in ROM form.

-Chinatown

Anchors (December 21, 2004)

"Your dad" wears a wifebeater and beats your mom with a belt.

And he beat Punchout?

Wow, then he's awesome on two accounts.

Anonymous (December 21, 2004)

"Your dad" wears a wifebeater and beats your mom with a belt.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (December 21, 2004)

my dad beat mike tyson's punch out a bunch of times

maverick (December 21, 2004)

This record is absolutely flawless. A perfect example of 90s midwestern emo.

And if you think Colossal doesn't sound like American Football, you are deaf.

-Scott

Anonymous (December 21, 2004)

Colossal cites American Football as a main influence

but Colossal is different in a sense that their music can be considered more "happy"

plus their sound is different

sethcohen (December 21, 2004)

My roommate in high school beat it. He also broke 2 or 3 controllers in his pursuit

Anonymous (December 21, 2004)

I remember one NES boxing game where a little dude would come out between every round and polish your knob. He looked like Richard Simmons.

- I posted a link with pics of that game acouple posts down.

Anonymous (December 21, 2004)

American Football sounds nothing like Colossal. The only thing that Colossal has that American Football does is the horn, nothing else.

Anonymous (December 21, 2004)

i don't think this band sounds anything like colossal and im a fan of both.

-i12e

Anonymous (December 21, 2004)

hey i found something interesting.
http://www.bctonline.com/users/caseym/ringking/inde x2.html
-psychoos231

greg0rb (December 21, 2004)

This band sounds like Colossal. Teehee.
-Greg

Big_Guy (December 21, 2004)

awesome album

Anonymous (December 21, 2004)

GREAT CD.

I'm so glad to see punknews reviewing "true" classics the past two weeks or so........

Keep it up.

Anonymous (December 21, 2004)

I remember one NES boxing game where a little dude would come out between every round and polish your knob. He looked like Richard Simmons.

Costanza (December 21, 2004)

Has anyone ever actually beaten MIKE TYSON'S punch out? Not the post rapist version, but the real one. I do not know 1 fucking person that's won it. So....Anybody???

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