Showing posts with label jeff rosenstock. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jeff rosenstock. Show all posts

Monday, January 8, 2018

video review: 'POST-' by jeff rosenstock

And here's the first review of 2018! Looks to be interesting going forward, especially as we've got some more metal waiting in the wings as I polish up that top ten list... but in the mean time, Billboard BREAKDOWN on the way too, so stay tuned!

album review: 'POST-' by jeff rosenstock

So I'm actually a little surprised I didn't get as much backlash as I was expecting for my more political picks on my year-end lists - maybe you're all just used to my point-of-view by now, maybe the records' quality overran the content, or maybe I just haven't pissed off the right set of people yet. But for those of you who are bothered by the politics coming up at all, be you on the left or right... well, look, I'm not sure what to tell you, I think we were all hoping this conversation would have quieted down by now and yet with every passing day it seems to get even louder. And given how certain tax policies are now directly targeting artists in an era of greater economic inequality than ever, you can't expect them to shut up.

Granted, I'm not sure you could shut up a punk rock lifer such as Jeff Rosenstock even if you tried. When WORRY. became a critical darling in 2016 just days before the election, even in the face of a possible Democratic victory you could still hear the pronounced anxiety, how even if they won, gentrification and police brutality and social media obsession and the increased numbness of a weary millennial population wasn't going away, especially in the face of crippling self-awareness of their culpability and flaws. It was a record approaching burnout with the half-drunk determination to keep staggering forward because it couldn't get that bad... and then the election happened. And while to some extent that does lock WORRY. into a very specific context pre-election, it also threw a wide enough net and captured the cultural mood so effectively that did stick around, so it doesn't fade into immediate irrelevance like Common Black America Again did. And really, given how closely attuned Rosenstock's writing felt to his audience, I knew it was only a matter of time before he'd contextualize the insanity of the past year and come back all the stronger. It'd be political, it'd be empathetic, it'd give Rosenstock the space to push his blend of power pop, hardcore punk and even traces of ska into even more places - in short, it's the record I think a lot of people needed to start 2018. And thus, what did we get with POST-?

Monday, December 19, 2016

video review: 'WORRY.' by jeff rosenstock

Yes, I know I'm late to the party with this one, but my god, I'm so happy I got to it regardless, so smart and well-written, I just wish I dug the hardcore parts more.

Eh, whatever, and now following it with another great record... well, stay tuned!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

album review: 'WORRY.' by jeff rosenstock

So I've mentioned a number of times throughout the three years I've done this series that I'm not the biggest fan of nihilistic artwork - not because I find the themes morally repugnant so much as they just get tedious after a while. You can wallow in your own depravity and debauched hedonism all you want, but at least switch it up once and a while or try to say something interesting about your condition - looking at you, Future.

But that's not to say music with dark or depressing themes doesn't work for me, especially if the writing or instrumentation twists in interesting directions. Enter Jeff Rosenstock, a name you're probably most familiar with from the New York punk and ska scene, namely as the frontman of Arrogant Sons of Bitches, the DIY ska-punk collective Bomb The Music Industry!, and the indie rock group Kudrow. But where I started to take more notice was his solo work, and when I say that I mean that my notice was driven by a bunch of music critics I otherwise respect telling me insistently that I need to hear this guy. And sure enough, they were right, because Jeff Rosenstock's music was right up my alley. A punk smart enough to temper his anthems in the sort of overwritten but self-deprecating material to temper the bite, with a frankly astonishing level of detail to paint the pictures, both instrumentally and lyrically, his music reminded me a bit of Frank Turner in a weird way in the maturity of their punk mindset and a commitment to ridiculously catchy music. But I think Rosenstock squeezed more instrumental styles and tones into his first two solo records, aptly titled I Look Like Shit and We Cool?, grabbing from ska and garage rock and lo-fi and even synthpunk to form a raucous, utterly unpredictable sound that really stuck with me, I really dug those records. As such, while again it has been a long time coming, I really wanted to check out his newest release this year WORRY. - did it hold up to the hype?