In 2014, Bomb the Music Industry! disbanded. This left Jeff Rosenstock, the bands lead singer/guitarist to focus on his solo career that he started three years ago with the release of I Look Like Shit. The year of the break up, Rosenstock came out with two brand new songs with “Hey Allison” and “I’m So Gross.” Both of the songs provide the angst and insecurities of a young adult, but with the mature tune of someone who’s been in the business for 10 years, making it very easy for new and old listeners to enjoy. He keeps his punk edge that he uses in most of his projects, but also adds some power pop flavor. These themes will continue through out his latest release of We Cool?
In We Cool?, Jeff Rosenstock expresses his struggle with growing up. It’s the first idea presents with the opener ‘Get Old Forever.’ He still suffers with the anxieties of teenager; He still parties and gets drunk. At the same time, friends his age are buying starter homes. While he’s drinking alone, his friends are married or in meaningful relationships. It’s as if as time goes by he stays the same. There is a lot of juxtaposition with the music as whole. The melody is distinctly upbeat and even pop at times, but the lyrics are saturated with depression. In ‘The Lows”, he’s constantly ragging on himself, even calling himself ‘useless garbage’. Though Jeff Rosenstock is sad and lonely, he does find comfort knowing that everyone is going through some form of the same thing. He states it perfectly in “You, In Weird Cities” that ‘we’re all alone and miserable, but we’re going to get through together.”
The album as a whole is beautifully written. The best part of it all is though the songs vary from pop, punk, and ska based sound, they all fade nicely into each other. You sometimes can’t tell when one song ends or when the next begins making the album a versatile but solid project. We Cool? is perhaps Rosenstock’s best work yet due to its relevance with peoples everyday lives. He discusses topics that every human being goes through at least one time in their lives while presenting it in a way that’s not gloomy or upsetting. This sophomore album surpasses the previous, and makes fans wonder, “How can Rosenstock top this?”
Written by Brittany Robinson