ALBUM REVIEW: Jeff Rosenstock – No Dream
BEST TRACKS: State Line, ***BNB, Ohio Tpke
FCC dirty except for: State Line, Leave It In The Sun, Monday at the Beach
Jeff Rosenstock is the punk icon that can do it all. Most notably, he is the past lead singer of Bomb the Music Industry! and a solo artist, but he is also a producer, founder of independent record label Quote Unquote records, and has been a part of many other bands and collaborations. No Dream is Jeff’s fourth full-length album as a solo artist, which he dropped last week with absolutely no promotional buildup. This Summer-y, cathartic album came just in time for June. In accordance with Jeff Rosenstock’s strict DIY ethics, the album has been released for free online via Quote Unquote Records, with all donations going to vegan anti-hunger organization Food Not Bombs.
Jeff Rosenstock is a household name amongst fans of catchy basement punk. Each song on No Dream has potent DIY energy, due to the fact that the album was taped with analog outboard equipment rather than being mixed completely with a digital audio workstation. This album feeds nostalgia with its boisterous, scratchy, half-yelling, half-singing vocals and frantic drums that are starkly reminiscent of late 80s skate punk. In classic early Jeff Rosenstock style, the riffs are hard and fast and the lyrics are even faster.
Jeff’s previous two albums, WORRY and POST, were characterized by bleak sadness and anxiety. In NO DREAM, the anxiety hasn’t vanished, but exists in a more rambunctious, self-assured, let loose light that has been missing since the days of Bomb The Music Industry!. As a result, NO DREAM is heart-wrenching, yet still somewhat optimistic. NO DREAM is about embracing helplessness. Jeff Rosenstock’s songs have always expressed the rawest human emotions of anger, love, and heartbreak in the simplest, most straightforward, most hard hitting way. No Dream is another album for the DIY punk wall of fame. One thing’s for sure, Jeff never misses.
I recommend this album if you’re into bands like Joyce Manor, Deafheaven, PUP, or Antarctigo Vespucci.