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by Lou Venditti - News Editor
Tue, Jan 30th 2018 10:00 pm

Jeff Rosenstock really did that. At midnight on New Years, Rosenstock released “POST,” his fourth studio album and second in the last year and a half, following 2016’s “WORRY.” He released it on his personal label, Quote Unquote Records, for free. It was a surprise album from one of the most charming pioneers of punk from the last decade.

“POST” is a culmination of everything Rosenstock has ever done in his career. Tracks like “Powerless” and “TV Stars” sound like they could be songs from an old Bomb the Music Industry! record, one of Rosenstock’s previous projects. All of the songs convey the same kind of feeling: we are tired of this mess we’re in. Rosenstock is acutely aware of the slog of everyday life, and this last year hasn’t been very kind to him or any of us. 

The album opens with “USA”, a seven and a half minute song of desperation. The song feels urgent, as Rosenstock and the band pound out the early part of the song with quick hooks and fast riffs. The song mellows out into a long synth outro, making the song a unique new line for Rosenstock to cross.

“They said ‘well, you promised us the stars,’” Rosenstock chants at the end of the synth outro. “And now we’re tired and bored.”

Rosenstock wrote his own version of the Piña Colada song on POST. “9/10” is a song for pure escapism, with Rosenstock recounting his late night subway rides and feeling at home within the chaos.

“Nine times out of 10, I’ll be stoned on the subway, reading backlit directions on what I should do,” Rosenstock sings on the chorus. “Dodging eye contact with anyone who looks my way, nine times out of 10, I’ll pretend it was you.”

Rosenstock ends the album with a highlight of its own. “Let Them Win” might be the most powerful Rosenstock song to date, with a soaring chorus and a ton of oohs and aahs. The song is a swan song for desperation in the face of oppression, with Rosenstock lamenting the powerful stepping on the weak.

“They’ll sic us on each other to displace our power, but it won’t happen again,” Rosenstock sings. “We’re not gonna let them win, oh no.”

The song culminates in a long bout of a lonely synth playing a farewell ballad. It sounds like a starscape, something you’d hear at an observatory. It’s a peaceful way to put the day to an end after fighting the power.

Jeff Rosenstock is fed up with everything. He made and released an album in secret, and the entire album is about fighting the power and feeling so desperate in the face of it. The past year has taken a hard toll on Rosenstock, but 2018 is all for him.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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