Football, etc. Grows Their Sound On “Corner”
Football, etc. Photo: Gia Quillap
In music, no matter what you may want to happen, bands can’t make the same albums over and over again, unless they’re maybe AC/DC. The truth is that any fan of a band should want the group to grow and mature as artists. On their new full length, Houston’s Football, etc. do just that, they grow and shed the bulk of their emocore leanings. In fact, Corner finds the band heading in a more indie rock direction that results in a sound that’s more focused and open to more tastes than that of the emo underground. Possibly the band’s strongest release to date, the ten songs are full of energy and emotion, while taking their sound to a whole new place that delights anyone who gives it a spin.
Opening with the more melodic nature of “Save,” it’s quickly apparent that the band isn’t making the traditional album here. The dual vocals alone that mix with the intense cluster of drums, guitar, and bass create a sound that’s closer to acts like Superchunk than you might be expecting. The band still sounds the same with Lindsay Minton’s vocals, but the structure of the track echoes a band that’s taking things to a beautifully more open direction. They follow this with the more sonically diverse and slower sounds of “Try Out.” The song immediately reminded me of acts like Sharon Van Etten or Waxahatchee, where the slow melodies of the instrumentation and Lindsay’s vocals come together to offer up one of the many stand out tracks of the release. The fuzz of the guitar mixed with a backing vocal track underneath the main vocals and Daniel Hawkins’ snappy drums give the listener a sound that’s hard not to fall in love with. The closest the band comes to their emo past happens on the third track, “Foul.” However, as close as it gets to the trio’s older sound, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a leaner and more strengthening sound. The song will stick with you for days after just one listen, and sticks to you with its head bopping pace and catchy chorus.
The band takes a more slow stride on “I Believe,” further mixing things up as to what they’re up to on this release. There’s a more complex structure here, only proving that the band is definitely growing more than many within their genre. This is followed by the stark and tender sound of “Space,” where the song sounds so autobiographical that the lyrics are some that really stay with you. The amount of depth on the song, complete with a more complex structure than that of the band’s previous releases really showcases their sound as a unit. The bridge alone echoes sounds of indie rock progressions, and gives the listener another song that’s nothing like what Football, etc. has done in the past. The band returns to a more driving sound on “Eleven,” where the indie rock vibes with emo undertones are so strong that another stand out of the release will haunt you with each and every time you place the song on repeat. The balance between the bass from Mercy Harper, the melody driven guitar from Minton, and Hawkins’ drums really brings the track to a more flush sound that offers up more diversity as the three piece takes their sound to a whole new place.
This continues on the head bopper, “Advantage,” complete with a hook heavy guitar and verse that you can’t forget. If what the band is doing here is what they have planned for their future releases, I say bring it on. The mix of melodies on the song is definitely welcomed and is a journey you’re more than happy to take with the band, which continues on the eighth song “Overtime.” The band seems to indulge a more post punk vibe on “Nutmeg,” with an almost dissonant guitar that works so well, that you want to hear the song over and over. With a sound that’s closer to the early works of bands like Wire and Stiff Little Fingers, it’s still unmistakably Football, etc. but also something fresh and new that’s pretty amazing to hear. The album gets closed off with the slow and meandering sound of “U20.” While the elements of emocore run high on this song, the beauty of the vocals that seem to cut through the heavily melodic guitar that seems to pick up and slow down as soon as it starts to get going. When the chorus hits, it hits hard with a fuzzy guitar and a heavy vocal that gives you a sense of something personal that has to be said.
The end result is a sound from a band that’s growing into spaces that shed their earlier past in favor for something fresh and invigorating. By returning to work with famed producer J. Robbins again, Football, etc. proves that a band can grow while keeping many elements of their core sound intact in the process.
You can stream Corner here, or grab a copy from Community Records here. Or you can grab a copy from the band when they play their album release party at Rudyard’s on June 10. The 21 & up show will also feature the tape release from Houston’s Ruiners who will be on as direct support, as well as a set from Austin’s Yorick, and an opening set from Houston’s Greg Cote & the Real Life Friends with doors at 8 pm and an $8 cover.