When looking at the demise of American Football, it’s important to recognize that it surely wasn’t a sad one. Three college students home for the summer, their album comes across as a reunion: friends talking about the things they’d endured, communicating efficiently, and contemplating how each tale pertained to their own lives. They must have known that it was going to end eventually, that they’d have to move on to the next step; but that wasn’t part of the music. Instead, they reached for clarity and absorbed everything. The situation didn’t call for them to communicate with a performance of gnarling distortion and screaming (the first traits that come mind when thinking of the emo that came out of the hardcore scene), so they used clear amp settings, delicate instrumental chemistry, and vivid lyricism. They weren’t overbearing or intimidating; they inspired revisitation of those “teenage feelings” that aren’t so far gone.