Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Album Review: Post- by Jeff Rosenstock (by Dan Peters)

Post Record Company

Hands up who had a hangover on New Years Day? I’ll put mine up. Do you know who else did? Probably Jeff Rostenstock too. He played a show at the Boot and Saddle in Philadelphia on NYE and then the very next morning POST- appeared on the internet. This is an album with absolutely none of the expected secondary considerations seemingly attached to it. No marketing, no previous reviews or associated videos or singles released prior. Just one day he’s touring and the next hello world! And why not? Currently looking at Spotify, it’s had hundreds of thousands of plays and by all accounts seems to be well received.

It’s a ballsy move and one that the record industry should rightly be terrified of. Jeff released this as a “pay what you want” album on Bandcamp. Sure you can pay more for things like physical media and whatnot but if you only have £1 to spend on music and you want to own something incredible then that option is there for you, or just have it for free. I love everything about this approach to music production. There is currently a large barrier to entry for young artists but if this kind of attitude became more prevalent then maybe it would be easier for new bands to pick up momentum. It also strips out any meddling from outside sources, which works perfectly when your subject matter could be considered as a hot potato issue, although let’s be honest, saying you’re disgusted by the Trump administration and US politics isn’t exactly unpopular opinion these days.

So the album itself. Yes, it’s great. As I mentioned it’s very much a current events reaction so it’ll be interesting to see how it holds up in five or ten years time, however judging by the stark relevance of punk songs written during the Bush administration today, the pessimist in me thinks it’s gonna hold up just fine. The instrumental side of things here is very satisfying. Everything is chunky and sounds big and crisp as snow. Jeff has enough charisma in his voice to fill the national mall. POST- is basically a concept album with everything running through the same themes of helplessness in the face of a country effectively shooting itself in the leg, from the ballsy 7 minute USA right through to the backhanded acceptance of Let Them Win (“They can profit from their lies again”). Anti Trump sentiment isn’t exactly breaking new ground but it’s something that should not stop being said as long as there are people who will support it. Rather than being stark and oppressive political fact stating, it’s more of a personal struggle and that endears me to each song so much more than the fact I agree. The sadness and melancholy is something I’m positive anyone picking up a Jeff Rosenstock album will undoubtedly relate to and, for that, this really deserves to get a listen from anyone that can – which in this case is everyone since it’s free to those who can’t afford it.

In conclusion this is an album literally anyone can and surely will enjoy and something of a landmark in terms of the way it was released. More of this please.

Stream and download Post- here: https://jeffrosenstock.bandcamp.com/album/post

Specialist Subject are handling the physical release in the UK here: http://shop.specialistsubjectrecords.co.uk/products/608360-jeff-rosenstock-post-lp-cd

Like Jeff Rosenstock here: https://www.facebook.com/jeffrosenstockmusic/

This review was written by Dan Peters.