by Robann Kerr
American Football – LP3
American Football released their self-titled debut album in 1999 and split up shortly afterwards. The album didn’t receive much attention at the time but it amassed a cult following over the next 15 years.
Following up on their long-awaited 2016 sophomore, the Midwest emo pioneers make a lateral move with their direction on LP3, even delving into shoegaze territory. The opening track, “Silhouettes,” is moody and atmospheric with rich layers of guitar and Mike Kinsella’s echoing vocals, while “Heir Apparent” has dreamy volume swells.
LP3 also features some unique guest vocalists, including Paramore’s Hayley Williams on “Uncomfortably Numb.” Kinsella and Williams display beautiful vocal chemistry against a backdrop of plucking harmonics, trumpet and calming waves of tremolo picked ambient guitar.
One of the most rewarding moments on the album is when “Doom in Full Bloom” reaches its climax with its repeating, slightly overdriven arpeggio that builds into a breathtaking crescendo.
American Football take a bold step in a developed direction on LP3. They still maintain the confessional lyrics, twinkly guitar and unconventional time signatures they’re known for, but at the same time, they’ve expanded their range of sound.