Football, Etc. - Vision [EP] (Cover Artwork)

Football, Etc.

Vision [EP] (2022)


Is it time for an emo revival revival? After a half decade of radio silence, Football, Etc. return with a four song collection Vision. Vision is full of pensive and contemplative tunes that is sure to please anyone who is left a little confused by the genre’s current directionless direction.

Since we last heard from Football, Etc. they haven’t really changed their formula up very much. The music generally relies on the slow build-ups and pummelling crescendos borrowed from early 90s hardcore structures coupled with a slightly twangy guitar style that owes a large debt to slowcore acts like Low and Ida. If you are familiar with Mineral you know the deal here. Football, Etc. Largely succeeds when they play to their biggest strength: vocalist Lindsay Minton.

”Howler” opens up EP in studied album building form that you’d expect from a seasoned band with many records under their belt. Driving rhythms led by a striking drum intro give way to a more comfortable groove setting the stage for the structure of the song to come. You might know what you’re getting into here but Minton’s earnest repetition of “If I die tonight. Tell everyone I know” at the start of the louder parts sets up a really successful vocal hook. Her vocal pattern remains exactly the same as the opening to the quieter parts but the melody works and her vocal phrasing fits the lyrics exceptionally. Personally, I think the quieter moments could have been better served by a more traditional shuffle drum beat but overall the song stands up to some of their best material.

Now, I am a huge fan of desserts that reveal how they taste before you actually taste them. That could be in their color or their design but generally based on their presentational aspects. On that note, “Woodwork” is a delightfully chosen title. The song has some pleasant looping guitar effects on the quiet moments that really mirror and lean into the band’s use of repetitious song-writing cycles. The feel of the song mimics the patient and methodical practice of woodworking. If only some bands would title all their songs accordingly, “Waste Of Time”, “Steaming Pile” etc.

By design, EPs are short affairs. You have to get in and get out. As a band, you don’t want to get caught sleeping. Unfortunately, where “Woodwork” was so successful, “Caught Sleeping” is far too apt a descriptor for this number. It just kind of sits there, meandering and forgettable. It weighs down the quality of the whole project and probably should have been left on the cutting room floor. The title track and album closer, “Vision” brings the quality back up to par. J. Robbins actually makes a guest appearance with some additional mellotron playing in the intro. This small part shows why J. Robbins is the perfect producer for a record like this. Football, Etc. Is a band whose identity is so wrapped up in sonic dimension and contrast. While unexpected and brief, it makes sense to have a little nod to the psychedelic era before shifting into the body of a song whose guitar playing has it’s roots in the jangle pop of the same era. Only difference is it has been transformed by the expanse of time.

Although it’s a shame that one song can bring down the quality of a whole record, I do think Vision is worth your time. There may be better exemplars of the genre out there but there are three really fantastic songs on here. If your definition of emo falls more on the 90s indie rock side of spectrum than hardcore, pop-punk etc. check this out. Whoa. That is a lot of etceteras for one review!