Jeff Rosenstock

Post-

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Recorded in eight days and released with little fanfare in digital form just a few weeks later on January 1, 2018, Post- is the third nervy missive from Long Island native, Jeff Rosenstock. First as the frontman for ska-punk outfit Bomb the Music Industry!, then as a solo artist, Rosenstock has poured the messy contents of his soul into unapologetically raucous, frequently ramshackle, and increasingly relatable D.I.Y. rock music. His hoarse bellows and confessional barrages can be a bit much at times, but his heart is in the right place, and with Post-, the sheer weight of his catharsis makes for a gutsy and engaging listen. Following the results of the 2016 presidential election, Rosenstock dragged himself up to the Catskill Mountains for a personal songwriting retreat in a rented double-wide trailer. The churning anxieties he extolled on Worry., which was released just prior to the election, are imbued here with an angry desperation as he explores the concept of losing hope on all fronts. While this may seem unerringly bleak, Post- is actually a pretty wild ride. Led by a the seven-and-a-half minute "USA," the album is infused with the manic energy that is Rosenstock's specialty and it's hard not to get swept up in his whirlwind. He may be singing about emotional malaise on "Powerless," but along with the equally peppy "Beating My Head Against a Wall," it's one of the album's most rousing tracks. It's a juxtaposition Rosenstock uses throughout the LP, pairing grim lyrical themes with fiery melodic punk, eventually leading up to the defiant 11-minute closer "Let Them Win," which segues from a singalong call-to-arms into a tranquil synth outro that leaves listeners on a high note. Perhaps surprisingly so, Post- is also one of his most accessible solo outings yet.

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