American Football, Polyvinyl CD Single Series 001

American Football, Polyvinyl CD Single Series 001

Hmm…didn’t somebody else do this a while back? Ah, who cares — Polyvinyl, one of the oddest, most interesting labels around, recently started up their own CD singles club, featuring new stuff from folks like Braid, Calvin Krime, Paris, Texas, and Burning Airlines (and American Football, naturally). I think it’s a very cool idea, especially for those of us who don’t necessarily want to shell out $10 for a band we’ve never heard before – this way, you buy the single, and if you like it, hey, buy the album (well, if there is one, at any rate). And unlike other singles clubs, this one gives it to you on CD, as opposed to 7″, so you don’t have to dub a tape to listen to it in the car.

As for the CD itself, it’s a nice surprise — delicate, absolutely bright guitars play fluid, jazzy guitar lines over understated drums and sincere, boyish vocals. Don’t pin any “emo” tags here, though; to my mind, “The One With The Tambourine” is far more reminiscent of R.E.M.’s earlier jangliness, taking the sound back into the underground and pairing it with odd, shifting rhythms and almost hypnotic patterns. “Letters and Packages” treads closer to Braid territory (not surprising, since one of the members of the band is in the Cap’n Jazz/Joan of Arc camp, and I figure those folks all hang out together, anyway), but doesn’t ever pull the overdone “soft/loud” trick, preferring to remain melancholy and sweet throughout. And the instrumental “Five Silent Miles” eloquently matches its title, painting the picture with music alone. If these folks ever put together a full album, I’m all over it – singles club, mission accomplished.

(Polyvinyl Record Co. -- P.O. Box 1885, Danville, IL. 61834-1885;; )
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Friday, October 1st, 1999. Filed under Reviews.

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