3 February 2018

Jeff Rosenstock - POST-

Until a couple of weeks ago, I'd never heard of Jeff Rosenstock.  Then, on Bearded Gentlemen Music Slack page, one of the other bloggers mentioned Mr Rosenstock.  the banter on the page was positive, but I had not heard of the man if I'm being honest.  So, whilst I had little going on blog-wise, I thought I would check out his stuff.  And now we have come to this blog, where I'll be reviewing his latest album, POST-.  Recorded towards the end of 2017, POST- is his third solo album, following on from 2016's Worry (which is a storming record btw).  He has previously sung for The Arrogant Sons of Bitches, Bomb The Music Industry, Pegasuses-XL, Kudrow, Antarctigo Vespucci and The Bruce Lee Band.  To say this man is prolific is an understatement, he never seems to stand still by the looks of things.  He also is a big believer in releasing his music for free (via download) or you can pay what you want.  There are also physical versions of his albums available too, all of which seems to point towards a DIY attitude that likes to help people out, but he also knows what his own worth as well, I like that confidence.  So, in the last few weeks, I've been trying to fit in as much of POST- as possible, how has it turned out?

01 - Morning

"Morning" is a short intro track, nothing more and nothing less, so onto the next song.

02 - USA

"USA" starts off this record with a kick to the arse as your thrown head first into a heartland Americana Punk explosion has a small piece of folk in there (but more the modern interpretation of the genre).  But the song never stays still, because it's constantly evolving into something else.  There is a passionate anger to the vocals, it sounds like the fury of hell has been unleashed in parts of this song.  For an opening track to a Punk album, it's quite a long number as it comes in at just over seven and a half minutes in length, that's heading towards Prog territory, but you won't be complaining as it's a fuck joyride!

03 - Yr Throat

"Yr Throat" is a song about trying to find the courage of one's convictions and it covers many topics, but mainly I think it's trying to discuss having your own voice heard and how it's so stupid to have a voice and never use it.  It's a passionate number that wears its heart on its sleeve, a martyr to its own cause and it sounds brilliant.  It's one of my favourite songs of 2018 already, just for the fuck you attitude of the lyrics and catchy riff!

04 - All This Useless Energy

"All This Useless Energy" seems to be a Pixies song in waiting, a spine-tingling moment on this album with its huge stomping acoustic riff, massive bass guitar and an electric guitar tone that just speaks of UFO's, Spanish ladies and other Black Francis topics.  It's one of my favourite songs on this album, I just cannot stop playing it on repeat!  Don't take my word for it, check it out yourself!

05 - Powerlessness

"Powerlessness" is a song about the isolation of modern life, how everything can make you feel disconnected with so much information that you can go for days, weeks and months without really connecting with another human being.  It's an energetic piece, one that hits the ground running and it doesn't let up until it's finished.  "Powerlessness" would have been the song of the album if it weren't for "All This Useless Energy", what a majestic couple of songs!

06 - TV Stars

"TV Stars" took me a few spins to get into, don't know why but it wasn't as there wasn't the instant connection that I had with the best percentage of this album.  This song about isolation and detachment a slow burner, both in style and how long it takes to sink in.  Maybe the design of the song is the reason I didn't connect with it straight away; however, it's worth the effort as it has a beautiful ending.

07 - Melba

"Melba" is a fantastic number, full of hope and regret, mixed together in this punk rock number.  It's a bouncy song that is incredibly infectious, I don't know what it is about it, but it's been running around my head since I first heard it, but I think I would put it down to the energy behind the performance on this one.  It somehow makes me smile each time it's on, which is always the sure sign of a winning song to me.

08 - Beat My Head Against a Wall

"Beat My Head Against a Wall" is all about someone who doesn't want to engage in a conversation, it's all one-sided and the frustration that follows from that sort of conversation.  It's a short, sharp, rock 'n' roll influenced number, it doesn't hang around as it's over and done with in under two minutes.  It's the very definition of wam, bam, thank you mam!

09 - 9/10

"9/10" is a song about things not quite working out, being in love and how it can all be so exhausting.  It's a decent synth-based number, it's the slowest one of the album, and if I'm honest it's the one I would be least likely to return to on this album, but as I said, it's still a decent song.  So, onto the finale......

10 - Let Them Win

"Let Them Win" ends this album with a defiant statement, the bastards are not going to win and the determination to win is ingrained into every note of this song.  The main section lasts for the first five and a half minutes, then it ends in a synth drone/swirl for the next six minutes which acts as a calming down/chill out piece after all that positive aggression of the early section of the song.  I love both parts of this song, it shows both sides of this album and it's so beautiful.  A perfect way to end this album.

Jeff Rosenstock is the American equivalent of Frank Turner, the man is prolific and has a confidence that is as important as his music.  POST- is a fantastic album, a real tour-de-force with songs of passion, love, loss and regret.  I love everything about this record, even the songs which don't shine as brightly as other on this record are world beaters when compared to a lot of other tunes currently in vogue.  Even at the very start of the year, I already feel that POST- is an early contender for the album of the year.  It's that damn good and I thoroughly recommend you heading out to get a copy as soon as possible.

9.5 out of ten - Almost perfect, almost......

Top track - All This Useless Energy

You can purchase one of the versions of POST- on the Jeff Rosenstock Bandcamp page here.

If you really must, here is the Amazon link to POST- as well.

You can visit the Jeff Rosenstock Tumblr page here.

You can follow the activities of Jeff Rosenstock on Facebook here.

You can stream POST- on Spotify here.

You can stream POST- on Deezer here.

You can stream POST- on Tidal here.

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