American Football Deluxe Reissue review

AFFifteen years after the album was released, and seventeen years after the opening track was released, it’s almost surreal to hear a live introduction to an American Football show, but that’s what begins the second side of the released extended iconic record. The second track off the extended album is one of two live instrumentals, this one being Five Silent Miles (off the self-titled EP which preceded the album). The trio make the music flow in a way which almost makes it sound other-worldly; the fluidity and rise and fall of the record make the piece both calming and invigorating.

The first of several demos comes next, going by the name of “Untitled #1 The One With The Trumpet”. Despite the strange title, the song still has the same flow as their released music and although at times sounds slightly clustered, there’s something brutally honest about the sound created when it is done so without the intent of attention from the prying public. Perhaps this makes the music hold a more personal atmosphere, but for some reason, these untitled recordings hold a different tone to that of the previously released ones. Even the Boombox practise session version of Stay Home (which is featured on the original release) feels more relaxed and although slightly rough, more rustic and artistic for it. Although he original is a cleaner sound, the extra version is appealing on a whole new level. The third untitled track off the album brings about a faster pace with rapid drumming contrasting the usual soft acoustic guitar, and the percussion results in leading the track.

The next three tracks date from 1999, and feature the same intimacy as the other previously unreleased recordings; the slightly less formal recording is highlighted in the sound quality, but it brings about a different atmosphere, as the others did. The final track of the extended album is just shy of seven and a half minutes – a 1997 live version of The 7’s. Personally, I preferred the previous live track as this feels slightly, well, clunky, in places, but overall it’s obvious it would have been incredible to see performed, and these non-studios releases underline how tight the band always were.

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