I don’t know if you can single one record out as Starflyer 59’s most underrated, as Starflyer 59 as a whole is pretty underrated in my book, but I would say Americana would rank as the bands most overlooked album.
Maybe part of the blame should fall on Brandon Ebel and Tooth and Nail because marketing the record as having Black Sabbath riffs was ridiculous. I mean that marketing got me up buy the record and lose my Starflyer virginity.
Americana was the last of the shoegaze records but it was so radically different from Silver and Gold (two records which were very sonically different from each other to start). Americana doesn’t have the layer upon layer of distorted guitar, the guitar solos that never seemed to end. Americana had a pop sensibility that would show itself fully on The Fashion Focus, well maintaining the bands fuzz rock sound.
The Voyager, All You Want Are the Things I Need, The Translator, and the Boulevard are all pretty rocking, fully fuzzed out songs. But the gems are really the pop songs. Harmony is my second favorite SF59 song (Hazelwould is #1). Help Me When You’re Gone and You Don’t Miss Me and Everyone But Me are phenomenal songs that I think get overlooked when talking about Starflyer 59’s best.
Americana was a nice bridge between Gold and The Fashion Focus but on its own it’s a classic indie fuzz rock record that’s overlooked more then it should be.