Saturday, 16 January 2010

Bomb The Music Industry!
Quote Unquote Records
Rating: 4/5

With a murmur of synthesisers and a bubbling of digital noise, Jeff Rosenstock makes his appearance on the record's opener, 'Cold Chillin', Cold Chillin'', playing acoustic guitar with his trademark heavy-handed bash. It's not long however before he's singing "your fucking cocaine party freaks me out" on the more skapunk 'Stuff That I Like' and we're back into familiar BTMI territory. "When I go out these days all I do is complain about the booming bass and the shitty DJ", he sings, and there's a hint that this record may turn out (as it indeed does) to be his most honest and assured yet. As an added bonus, Kepi Ghoulie and Sean Bonnette feature as guest vocalists on the record, besides the too-numerous-to-list cast of supporting musicians from all corners of the US punk scene.

Jeff knows that he's trading on the brand of himself as an artist, and frankly, a poet. Throughout
Scrambles in between songs like 'It Shits!!!' and '9/11 Fever!!!', more straightforward and fun punk numbers, there are crushingly autobiographical moments that capture his artistic and personal frustration. It is these, songs like 'Fresh Attitude, Young Body' and '25!' that really make the album, and set it apart from earlier efforts. I remember seeing him live last year on his UK tour- "I wanna thank everyone for coming out, and also for not asking me what I'm gonna do when I go back home. It's nearly the end of the tour and I don't know." This attitude, summed up by lines like "if you don't find a steady job now/if you don't find somebody to love now/you will die freezing cold and alone" from 'Fresh Attitude..." carry the full force of authenticity that often only punk can really deliver.

This negativity belies the fact that the best song on the album, the crazed '25!' is simply a psychotic, triumphant ode to being that age. Despite its (at times) quite depressing lyrics; "receipts and cards tumble out of my pocket/to the floor of the station, I still don't have a wallet... I'm 25! I don't learn from my mistakes/I make them again and again and again", like the album it maintains a sense of fun that stops it all from being too heavy going. It's the sound of a man coming to terms with adulthood and looking forward to growing old disgracefully, and it's fucking awesome.

No comments:

Post a Comment