Secret Meeting score: 87
by Joseph Purcell
Following on from 2016’s raucous Worry, former Bomb the Music Industry!, Arrogant Sons of Bitches and Kudrow frontman, Jeff Rosenstock, has once more produced an album of explosive American punk, that demands enjoyment and careless abandon in equal measures. The Long Island native’s new long play, POST-, which was released online on New Years Day, picks up were Worry left off and is a furious forty-minute breakneck journey of heavily politicised, frenzied energy and fun.
After the six second answering machine recording of Mornin’!, serves as a prelude to the album opener proper, USA bursts through, as Rosenstock, clearly perturbed by the political climate in his homeland, passionately vomits lyrical diatribes. ’Dumbfounded, downtrodden and dejected, Crestfallen, grief-stricken and exhausted. Trapped in my room while the house was burnin’ to the motherfuckin ground,’ he manically lashes out at his surroundings, before disgorging on the unfairness of his situation- ‘I saw the sign, but it was misleading, I fought the law, but the law was cheating. Screaming for help, but somebody keeps on telling me to settle down’; it is an incredibly explosive grunge churning opener and a tone setter for what is ahead.
Yr Throat roars into focus next, with Rosenstock howling and straining with every inch of vigour over a hurricane of power pop- ‘What’s the point of having a voice when it gets stuck inside your throat?’ it continues with a breakneck manic energy – ‘If you’re a piece of shit they don’t let you go’. Two songs in and Rosenstock has already begun to wrestle the listener in a vortex of spite and breakneck glorious wrath – one assumes calling out the current obsession with plastic celebrities who aren’t willing to use their status to call the system into question.
All this Useless Energy follows, harking back the finest moments of Weezer on their seminal Blue Album – a song to sing your heart out to in a joyous sense of wonder, before the punch in the mouth that is Powerlessness,which bounces along on a drum line of quick stepping intensity and glorious ‘ooooooooooooooooos’.
POST- slows slightly with the album highlight, TV Stars. A fantastic glimpse into Rosenstock’s calmer, subtler side. Evoking a Brian Wilson Love & Mercy-esque vocal over a gentle piano, it certainly points towards his dexterity as a musician. ‘TV stars don’t care about who you are’, he opines before the track takes off at the two-minute mark as the drums hit their peak and Rosenstock strains against the desire to unleash his trademark, animalistic vocals. And after the change in pace and interlude of TV Stars, Melba and Beating My Head Against a Wall return to the all-out ferocity of the earlier tracks, with Rosenstock back in lead rabble rouser mode, creating snapshots of blissful, jubilant abandon.
POST- is a magnificent album. Rosenstock is at his absolute peak – disgorging venom from his unruly pulpit of wrath. He has created a collection of songs that can’t help but encourage a reaction, chanting, singing, dancing, jumping around without a care in the world, while showing that he is a valid contender for leader of the rebellious counter culture. And based on what’s on show here, he’d certainly get my vote.