AMERICAN FOOTBALL – American Football
(Out Now on Polyvinyl Records)
IT’S PRETTY CRAZY WHEN A BAND that has only played a handful of shows has enough relevance to last 15 years. Now reuniting for a brief tenure in 2014, Illinois natives American Football have reissued and revamped their 1999 Heisman Trophy of an album. The genesis of the reissue started after guitar player Steve Holmes dug up old cassette tapes of live recordings and unreleased songs. Thank heavens for spring-cleaning and for finally supplying the answer of, “Yes, American Football did have more than just those nine songs on the album.”
Listeners can now focus on the songwriting origins of singer Mike Kinsella and remove him from his modern role in music. Kinsella’s more recent acts like Cap’n Jazz, Owen, Their/They’re/There and Joan of Arc are to be forgotten, while fans can simply experience a man on the brink of discovering his dexterities. ‘Never Meant’ is said to be the bands finest work, but the unreleased live-song ‘The 7’s’ will spark heated discussions about this bold assumption. Other classics such as ‘I’ll See You When We’re Both Not So Emotional’ and ‘But The Regrets Are Killing Me’ are released via 4-Track and show an organic grittiness to the classic tunes.
Through the demo tracks labeled “Boombox Practice Sessions,” the audience that never got to witness a live show now gets to lavish in a secretive band rehearsal. The live cut of their EP tune ‘Five Silent Miles’ might be the most important track on the entire album, for it allows listeners to bask in the radiance of AF’s illuminating live performance.
They may not provide much new material, but an heroic story of origins proves that musicianship is the industry’s greatest superpower. Who needs a teenager bitten by a radioactive spider or a billionaire orphan? (9)