Jeff Rosenstock rang in the new year by dropping his surprise new album titled simply, POST-. The album, which followed his eagerly received Worry. (debuted back in 2016), was made available to fans through a pay-what-you-want digital download system. The album will be released on CD and vinyl March 23rd through Polyvinyl Records.
POST- climbs from a political landscape that appears dull and bleak, and prevails into something encouraging, hopeful, and most of all: catchy. Consider for example, one of the album’s most popular tracks, straightforwardly entitled, “USA”. In a seven minute track that ricochets from fast to slow, humdrum and melancholy to rowdy and boisterous, Rosenstock comments on everything from racial tensions, struggling socioeconomic classes, and the subtle patriarchal family hierarchies overlooked in all American suburbia. The song closes with a chorus chant of “Et tu, USA!” before fading out into a raucous (but impressively precise) guitar rift. The entire ballad is an ode to the cognitive dissonance of the idealized American dream and its harsher realities.
More underrated tracks like “Powerlessness” turn this struggle inward, reflecting on the anxieties that stem from society’s pressure to be in a relationship and not miss out on anything. Rosenstock illustrates verse by verse the exertion required to form these sorts of bonds. Perhaps one of the closest-hitting of these lyrical examples is the one wherein he has invited someone to meet him at a bar, and informs this unnamed someone that they may identify him because he’ll be “the one looking at my phone/ Shaking like a nervous kid/ Absolutely terrified of being alone”.
Much like Worry., Rosenstock’s lyrics are able to weave an atmosphere that is both melancholy and underlined with that innately punk rebellion of keeping your head up and “sticking it to the man”, despite how dismal times may seem.