Author: Megan Karangutkar
If you turned the ignition in my car anytime between 2016 and 2017, I’d say you had an 85% chance of hearing American Football’s 1999 self-titled record. To this day, the entire album makes me think of driving home from school in October, screaming the lyrics and feeling emotional as ever.
At this point, American Football are practically a mythic band in the music world. Their 1999 release went largely unnoticed when it came out, but it has turned into a cult classic through the years. I can almost guarantee that 80% of the KXSU community will absolutely black out as soon as they hear the false start of “Never Meant.” Listen to it below and tell me you don’t feel your heart being ripped out of your chest.
With interlocking guitar parts, jazzy drums, and passionate melodies, “Never Meant” is a prime example of American Football’s musical style. Often heralded as one of the biggest bands in the Midwestern emo scene, the group’s sonic techniques sound like a sort of casual math rock to me. They’ve got it all–pretty complicated guitars (all in insane tunings), some of the most unique drum parts I’ve heard in emo, and trumpets. Lyrically, you can’t really deny the emo label. They have a song called “I’ll See You When We’re Both Not So Emotional” and I truly think that says everything.
American Football have put out two additional self-titled releases since 1999, one in 2016 and one earlier this year. Both records see the group venturing into more mature territory, both lyrically and musically. Though I am especially a fan of the most recent release, I am most looking forward to catching those earlier songs live and seeing how the band performs tracks that are almost ten years old now. As even more incentive to come out, here’s a Pitchfork Over/Under video to show that these musical legends are also hilarious 40-year-old dads. How could you not love them?
Catch American Football at the Showbox this Friday, May 17th at 9:00 pm. Tickets are available here. Make sure to head out early to catch opener Illuminati Hotties.
MEGAN KARANGUTKAR | KXSU MUSIC REPORTER