Jeff Rosenstock - 'POST-' Album Review
After two awful years of celebrity deaths, mass killings, right wing extremism and the election of an unqualified populist to the office of president; I think a lot of people need 2018 to be a good year. Luckily, for those who enjoy DIY Pop-punk with a political slant, this year has certainly started off pretty great with the surprise release of Jeff Rosenstock’s third solo studio-album, POST-.
Despite it being recorded in only a week, this album is massive, a worthy follow-up to Rosenstock’s previous record, WORRY. Although, where that album existed in a state of panic before the 2016 general-election, this one, as the title suggests is POST-election. As a result, this album has a much more downtrodden feel, with dark, sludgy guitars throughout. You won’t find any ska on this record.
The album’s opener USA sets the scene perfectly, describing life in the USA as being “trapped in my room while the house was burnin’ to the motherf***in’ ground.” Jeff is asking his neighbours and strangers “was it you?” – lamenting how these seemingly normal people could allow America to become what it has become. This is followed by the frantic YR THROAT where Jeff laments on the complacency of the neighbours who say there’s “nothing left we can do”. This is wrapped up in the singalong refrain, “What’s the point of having a voice when it gets stuck in your throat?”
A mid-album highlight is the heartfelt TV Stars, which has a more classic pop feel, and self-deprecating lyrics. Where the song begins soft, it builds throughout the song to a crescendo of “TV stars don’t care who you are” (possibly alluding to a certain TV president) – then dropping back down to just Jeff and a piano, giving the entire song an epic, yet intimate feel.
The album isn’t totally political though, with songs like Powerlessness, which touches on mental health and anxiety issues and Melba being another one of Rosenstock’s signature “oh god I’m not 20 anymore” songs. But ultimately the album wraps up with the defiant Let them Win, where Rosenstock clearly states that he will not sit back and let what’s happening happen.
Overall, this album is incredibly well put together, despite the variety of musical styles in this album, it all locks together perfectly, feeling like one cohesive whole. The energy Jeff Rosenstock and his band put into their performances shine in this album, which makes sense considering much of this album was recorded live to tape, giving the record an authentic, and classic feel. In fact, I will go as far as saying that this album will become a classic pop-punk album, and when music fans look back at the Trump era, they will look at POST- in the same way that we look at American Idiot in relation to the Bush era.
You can get the album from Rosenstock’s bandcamp or from quoteunquoterecords.com for free or donation (a portion of the proceeds will go to provide hurricane relief in Puerto Rico) or you can pre-order the record from Polyvinyl.
Songs to check out: “USA”, “Powerlessness”, “TV Stars” and “Let Them Win”