Music Review: ‘American Football’


Kolja Westhues, Journalist

After reforming in 2014, American Football still hasn’t e made anything worth listening to since their debut, self-titled 1999 record, “American Football.”

“American Football” is a masterpiece. The album is about 40-minutes long and uses elements of Math Rock, a sub-genre of rock music that uses odd time signatures that change throughout the song.

The opening track and single, “Never Meant,” is probably one of the band’s best songs. There is a heavy drum beat, which is inconsistent throughout the track. The guitars blend to create a complex sound, leading the song with their more uniform sound.

The second track, “The Summer Ends,” features a heavy melancholic tone. The drums throughout the majority of the song are just silenced toms but work well with the rest of the instruments. A horn is used to enhance the sorrowful vibe. One of the best things about this song are the mellow, whispered vocals.

The third song “Honestly?” starts on somewhat of an off-beat and leads straight into the vocals unlike the past two tracks. One thing I love about this song is the heavy bass sound, which is not as prevalent in the rest of the album.

“For Sure” starts off with a slow, reverberated guitar riff that leads into a a high-hat heavy drum beat. Like “The Summer Ends”, it features half-whispered vocals.

Next up is “You Know I Should Be Leaving Soon.” This is a fully instrumental song that switches the drum beat and guitar riffs constantly. The song is on the shorter side and does not have lyrics to distract from the music’s repetitive nature.

The sixth track on the record, “But The Regrets Are Killing Me,” has quiet vocals, but also the heavy use of ride cymbals. The lyrics do not differ nearly enough, mostly just repeating the titular phrase.

“I’ll See You When We’re Both Not So Emotional” is one of my favorite songs off of the LP. The drum beat on this track is incredibly snare-heavy, which I enjoy. Unlike previous songs, this track is not repetitive at all.

The eighth track “Stay Home” starts off with a reverberated, melancholy guitar riff and eighth notes on the ride that leads into the chorus. This is one of my least favorite songs on the record because I find the vocals overly aggravating.

The ninth and final track, “The One With The Wurlitzer”, slowly fades into a gloomy single horn to finish off the record. This is an instrumental song with soft piano, guitar, and a mixed up, hat-heavy drum beat.

“American Football” is an excellent album that sounds very cohesive by including similar elements throughout the entire record. My final rating is 5/5 stars.