Jeff Rosenstock kicks of 2018 right with ‘POST-‘

Henry Netherland

Photo Courtesy: iTunes

Jeff Rosenstock is underground pop punk royalty.

For over 20 years, he has performed in several bands, including The Arrogant Sons of Bitches and Bomb the Music Industry. Since then, he has released three solo efforts including his latest, “POST-.”

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“POST-” brings a refreshing start to 2018 and shows major changes in Rosenstock’s vision. For one, his music has become much more ambitious with songs ranging in length from six seconds to 11 minutes. Secondly, he seems to put a greater emphasis on adding synthesizers into his music. Rosenstock has always experimented outside of the typical instrumentation found in punk music with synths. This album is no different. However, on “POST-,” the synths seem to play an actual role in the music rather than acting as a tool to break up instrumental simplicity.

The album kicks off with “USA,” the second longest song Rosenstock has released to date. Sitting at a daunting seven and a half minutes, the track is a sonic rollercoaster. It opens with a pretty standard Rosenstock sound: blasting guitars, strained but melodic vocals and varying rhythms.

Accompanying it are lyrics describing his confusion of the election of President Donald Trump, a relatable sentiment. As “USA” seems to reach its auditory peak, it turns into an entirely different track. Starting off as a pop punk anthem, once it hits the three minute mark, the song decrescendos into a dreamy synth-pop motif, which continues for an additional two minutes. Although repetitive, the section is incredibly captivating, putting the listener at an euphoric ease. The mood is temporary; however, as the song cranks up, the volume for an explosive ending.

The song “9/10” is a breezy synth-ballad with funny lyrics about being “stoned on the subway” nine out of 10 times. Here the instrumentation feels the most well put together. Unfortunately, the chorus feels clumsily put together, and the female backup vocals also add very little to the song.

“POST-” is a consistently solid project. It is not without its low points, however. “Beating My Head Against A Wall” is the album’s weakest song. It is not unlistenable, but compared to the rest of the album, it is easily the least developed track lasting less than two minutes. Jeff also seems to rely a little too heavily on repetition to the point where it feels like it is beating your head.

The closing track, “Let Them Win,” has a similar structure to “USA” in terms of having an eruptive chorus leading into melodic synths. The main difference is that the synth section is much longer and actually ends the song instead of returning to a punk sound. Equally as dreamy, the outro is pleasant to listen to with gorgeous harmonies. But the sheer length of the outro is somewhat patience-testing.

Should you listen to it? Maybe 

While “POST-” is not Rosenstock’s most captivating album, it still is a great pop punk release. The album’s overall greatest strength is its ability to stay consist without feeling monotonous. There is a track or two that is subpar; however, there is nothing awful within the track-list. Even those who are not into pop punk can find enjoyment in this album. This is not some cliche pop punk group singing about heartbreaks and pizza. This is a well-thought out storm of emotions detailing the realities and struggles almost any millennial can relate to./p>

Favorite Songs: “USA,” “Yr Throat,” “Let Them Win”

Least Favorite Song: “Beating My Head Against A Wall”

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Collegian reporter Henry Netherland can be reached at entertainment@.com or on Twitter @NetherlandHenry.