“Dumbfounded, downtrodden and dejected/Crestfallen, grief-stricken and exhausted.”
All hail the king of anxiety. Pop-punk legend Jeff Rosenstock mutated his career for the…at least third time with a wallop of hyper-catchy, hyper-depressing albums. Anthemic to the core, POST- was the grandest of them all, a personal and political dissection in the wake of Trump’s election. No one gets out unscathed, especially not Rosenstock.
It’s hard too say if there’s hope ringing out of the album, but at the very least it’s one of the finest albums to scream along to this decade. So listen to our interview with Rosenstock, read our thoughts on POST- and see why it’s one of the best of the 10s.
Miranda July is a beautiful friend to bless the start of your punk record with.
Oh, the American malaise! How it crawls through our blood stream, the urban boredom is a shadow to be fought with. Jeff Rosenstock wakes the sleeping giant of antidisestablishmentarianism on "USA" in a slow-build rousing chant of monotonous discontent into an explosion of rowdy demands for a new horizon. Rosenstock makes it clear who makes it to the capitalist career ladder on "Yr Throat" and who gets choked in the process. Tallying up a shallow, restrictive worldview, "All This Useless Energy" denotes the futile grind and evaporated exertion as exasperating any hope for comfort or affection. Amidst the dizzying futility, "Powerlessness" frantically kicks in with a dose of mania itching at the rhythm, nervousness serving up strumming guitars and a quick-lipped Rosenstock naughtily rushing through his desires.
Where else do we find stored fantasies of our emotional projected needs? "TV Stars."
The second half of POST- offers a moment to catch your breath to lose yourself. In the tizzy of no strings attached relationships with fictional characters and their actors, Rosenstock reports with losing a sense of self through the emptiness of their love and their visual projections. Idolatry meets its bitter end here against Rosenstock on a piano making plans on getting away from it all.
Chugging along the post-modern battles, Rosenstock keeps the door open for future dreams and relationships on "Melba." The track builds into a rousing reconciliation for a past relationship that needed resuscitation. An admirable pursuit, albeit emotionally futile. "Beating My Head Against A Wall" addresses the self-immolating automatic response that follows after exerting beyond your means for the sake of others. "Let Them Win" offers the more visceral version of this concept with further lamentations and a final battle cry for the pop punk ages.
The album's stand-out track "9/10" reaches to us emotionally exhausted, yet with the sweetest melodies and lyrics in Rosenstock's arsenal. Frantically running around in and out of the zeitgeist zone, Rosenstock truthfully relishes sweet daydreams, stoned subway rides and minding his own business. It's briefly meta by design yet wholly earnest. The majority of times, it's promised you'll be thinking of each other; it's how Rosenstock has carried his listeners over the decades.