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After emo rock came the cries of indie punk, which brought "emo" into a new light. Defeated melodies and anguished screams replaced the zeitgeist. Jeff Rosenstock is a flagbearer of the genre, but is his new album Worry. a strong effort?
The album begins with 'We Begged 2 Explode', already edgy with the whole number scenario. It starts off deceivingly, Rosenstock singing over somber piano chords as a dinky guitar and beat kicks in, progressively building into something rawer and angrier, taking the song to a distorted ending. It's a typical song of its kind, but it's not bad. A similar track plays out with 'Rash Pash', the acoustic, lo-fi intro segueing into a punkier vibe.
Personally, this indie punk brand doesn't typically settle well with me. It feels lazy and edgy without purpose - I'm not here to listen to 30+ year olds whine like they're in high school. That being said, there are still songs that stand out to me. It's a short run starting with 'Staring Out The Window At Your Old Apartment', which blends melody with a sort of uneasy anger. That's what doesn't really settle with me - the melodies of this genre sound lazy to me, and in a bad way, like there's no care to make something as such. 'Staring' sounds like melody took a good influence in its writing, which makes the song standout. 'Wave Goodnight To Me' is another track, and while its melody isn't exactly the main point of the track, the guitar work is really fun and the song has great vibe to it.
The best way to describe this album is through analogy. Think of it as Rosenstock taking a number two: the beginning of the album is the energy and satisfaction of getting it out of his system, while the rest of it is the afterthought of him sitting on the toilet for twenty minutes, sitting in silence as he thinks to himself "well, that happened." The initial blast of energy in the energy dies off before the core of the record even arrives, leaving a majority of the album sounding uninspired and just plain boring. There's very little to comment on with the rest of the record following 'To Be A Ghost...'; it's a conglomeration of sub-par, half-assed songs put to quick, easy guitar riffs and gimmicky ideas. The only upside is that the songs all have a smooth transition into each other, but even then some songs end for no other purpose than to transition, which detracts from their overall sound.
Jeff Rosenstock's charm isn't heading in the right direction. The initial energy of the album dies quickly, the rest of it playing through without any punch or replayability. Worry. isn't a good sign for things to come, but maybe this 34 year old will find more angst penned up within him for the next, and hopefully more inspired, album.
Favorite Tracks: Staring Out The Window At Your Old Apartment, Wave Goodnight To Me
Least Favorite Tracks: Pietro, 60 Years Old; Planet Luxury; Rainbow
Rating: 59 / 100