I stumbled upon this album recently and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It’s been a while since I reviewed American Football’s self titled album, but it’s one that I’ve been coming back to again and again over the months. Here is what sounds to be a love letter to that album, as well as Emo and Indie Rock in general. It’s not a recreation or parody at all- the band has their own unique songs, but all the elements are there from legendary Indie bands. This is such an unusual thing that I was in shock for a while but when I settled down I fell back in love with those smooth melancholic guitar tones all over again.
游戏开始(Intro) starts off the album with a short soothing lullaby at night, complete with crickets chirping. It’s something you might expect from an outro, so it’s a wonder to me why they chose to make it like this. 守门员 is what really introduces the sound of the album- energetic drums, smooth and dexterous guitar playing, equally smooth vocals, and a subtle bass. The reversed audio introduction is a nice touch, something I always enjoy. I love the simple and whimsical opening on 400米, something about it just puts a smile on my face and makes me nostalgic. The band joins in soon after with counter-melodies galore, making this a joy from start to finish. 地球上最后一个EMO男孩 showcases the gorgeous and lush guitars on this album as well as introduce how instrumental heavy the second half of the album is. Vocals are few and far between and instead there are some seriously amazing jams bordering into Post-Rock territory. 再见米卢 exemplifies this, it’s such a dreamy and moving song. 游戏结束(Outro) brings it full circle, and is a good song for reflection.
I really wish I had the lyrics sheet for this album, they have their lyrics up on their bandcamp, but it’s all in Chinese and google translate only goes so far. One thing I think is fascinating is the cultural divide between the US and China, or at least how it seems to me. I realized I had so very little Chinese albums in my collection, didn’t know their music scenes at all. Then out of the blue here comes this album like a divide between worlds, or like American Football in a parallel universe. It makes me want to dig deeper into Chinese music, and at times during this album, it makes me want to take a trip to China and see these guys live. This album was just love at first listen. For fans of American Football that were let down by their follow up album, I can’t recommend this album enough.