I’m not sure how I feel about this album.
Football Money is the debut album from Canadian crew Kiwi Jr, and it’s one that I can’t get a handle on. It does stuff that I’ve called other bands out on, but it does it so well that I can’t find myself disliking. A combination of bizarre non-sequitur lyrics that merge with a peppy melody gives it the feel of a more cheery T.S Eliot poem, minus the racism.
Opening with ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ (the T.S Eliot link again), we are treated to a pleasant drum and guitar opening in an Allegro moderato tempo. As the rhythm kicks in, the lyrics start up, which proves to be more sophisticated in contrast to the bouncy arrangement. It’s like the anecdotal stories from your late teen years crammed into three minutes, mixed with the crazy stuff that happened in your hometown. While sounding happy, it comes at you with subtle force to tell a disjointed story.
As I said, I can’t get a handle on this one.
Title track ‘Football Money’ opens with a heavy drum and Andante tempo before kicking in with what feels like a snapshot of a suburban soap opera life. And it’s bouncy, and it’s loud, and it’s very, very fun.
It’s in the vein of the unique Canadian pop punk/alt rock of bands like Sloan and Dead Messenger in both sound and feel. Post grunge by way of dream pop. Which is a weird mash-up, but one that is becoming popular in the alternative scene. And it’s one that would have put me off the album on general principle. It’s weird when thinking back to it; I can’t say what stood out or why I should ever listen to it again. But when I’m replaying it, it’s the only thing I want to hear for the rest of the year.
As an album, Football Money fits together neatly. While Kiwi Jr has their sound, you don’t become swamped by track after track sounding the same. Each song bounces and feeds into one another – which, while maintaining a uniqueness to each track, also gives the whole album a singular sound and style.
As their first outing, Kiwi Jr has set the bar for the future LPs to cross. Stand out tracks include the sardonic ‘Salary Man’ and slower, building tempo ‘Swimming Pool’.
Football Money is an album I should hate. It does everything I don’t like in current alt rock, but it does them so well that I cannot help but enjoy it, and it leaves me having to ask some deeply personal questions about myself.