I could very well reproduce every synonym a thesaurus has to offer in a deplorable attempt to discredit artists that I feel a particular amount of hostility towards, but instead, I'll leave the details vague and the evidence scarce. It has never been, of course, my intention to depreciate any craftsmen I may hold a specific distaste for, thus making such a petty endeavour the final byway you'll spot me travelling, but a request for one to entirely conceal their feelings on any matter is absurd. But, to add a minor expression to an unnecessarily cloudy rant, I'll publically state that I possess very little respect for "performers" with their sights set on none but personal, monetary advancement. I'm well aware that music is a business alike any other, but allow me to stress the notion that honesty is a reliable source of fuel, and one that all too many entrepreneurs appear to have discarded.
But, allow me to never obliterate the knowledge that I am a critic, first and foremost, and a philosopher second. Therefore, without further adieu, the time has come to acknowledge this evening's prey. Now, surely we're all intimately aware of New York's often memorable exports, so what's one, lone musician to an ever-increasing list? If New York's residents, and the remainder of the world's tourists, are able to descend themselves from the thought of homemade pizza and bumper stickers that read "I <3 NY" (for the record, I am, in no way, generalizing an entire state, so patriots, please save your speeches) for one moment, perhaps they'll care to set their sights on Jeff Rosenstock, an aspiring, perpetual musician, and his independent project, Bomb the Music Industry! If you will ever-so-kindly reread my initial babbling (assuming, of course, anyone read it to begin with), you'll acquire a portrait of an anonymous, masked character. But, before we move on, let it be known that Jeff Rosenstock has never been one to dwell within this particular portrait's frame, and it's occupants are the very same he casually addresses with a tone of sheer loathing. Yet, I seem to have obliterated my place in this industry, once again, therefore, I owe you all an assessment.
While I am a tad late to the examination table, I feel, under these circumstances, that this artist merits my undisturbed attention. With his latest, full-length release, Goodbye Cool World, Rosenstock continues his disorganized battle between stunning musicianship and unnecessary instrumentation. But, how often does chaos permit control? I've come to view Goodbye Cool World as an all-encompassing stroke of combat (that never appears to favour a final resting ground), and one with Jeff Rosenstock at the helm of it's administration. While Bomb the Music Industry!'s efforts certainly are muddled, their turnouts are rather delightful, and one artist at the center of control has never emerged so triumphant. But, for all the praise one album may deserve, this critic has never experienced a more exhausting challenge while attempting to organize one's thoughts. Bomb the Music Industry! perform an uncommon hybrid of fast punk rock, ska, and thrash, and while such a combination may appear quite unpleasent to any listener caught off-guard, Jeff Rosenstock exerts an empowered force that's bound to abduct a loyal, dedicated assembly of followers.
Goodbye Cool World opens itself with "Old and Unprofessional", a rowdy, near minute long introduction to an album that only becomes more barbaric as it rages on, and while the melodies are a slight bit overwhelming from time to time, it's evident that Rosenstock has his vision set on experimentation. On "Even Winning Feels Bad", Rosenstock single-handedly presents one of the most impassioned, penetrating, ska-tinged performances his personal catalouge has ever witnessed, and one that irons out the lengthy trail that Goodbye Cool World has yet to travel. On "Side Projects are Never Successful", Rosenstock half-raps his way through an intricate entanglement of cluttered vocal harmonies and convulted instrumentation. It's palpable that as a multi-talented musician, Rosenstock's ability is near exceptional, and while his arrangements are often rather laborious to through through, one cannot fairly discredit his uncanny knack for alluringly dismantling genre confines.
As the album progresses, Rosenstock travels further outside of his shell on "My Response to an Article in Alternative Press", and while many may mistake his croons as a stab at the established publication, his incantations are no more than one man's personal feelings in regards to a disputable business. "Here's the thing about the music business. The trick is playing trend rock right before the trend hits", Rosenstock advertises over an accelerated, punk rock backbone. On "Sorry, Brooklyn. Dancing Won't Solve Anything", an unconstrained, ska offering (on which Jeff enlists the help of surprisingly proficient horn players), Rosenstock forges ahead with his limitless approach to creativity, and the results are inspiring. On "All Alone in my Big, Lonely Apartment", Rosenstock offers listeners a detailed overview of Goodbye Cool World's birthplace (which doubles over as his bedroom), alongside a dilatory, unplugged, overlapped arrangement. Finally, on "King of Minneapolis Pts. III and IV", a continuation to an earlier, unmentioned composition, Rosenstock puts forth a blustering, synth-laced anthem, which is undoubtedly the record's strongest performance, and one that draws Goodbye Cool World to a close with ease.
In conclusion, while my manifesto has assuredly appeared as overly favourable of one man's solo labour, I'm proud to exclaim that Jeff Rosenstock deserves every ounce of critical acclaim he may or may not encounter. But, what else does a struggling, sole musician who offers each and every crumb of creativity for absolutely no cost deserve? While his personal approach certainly isn't enough to warrant any performer with crucial bias, his efforts are positively admirable. Alike any other release the world has ever seen, Goodbye Cool World has it's flaws, fallouts, and blemishes, but independent hymns have yet to leave listeners feeling this pleasent. While this full-length release definitely won't discover solace at the forefront of every listener's collection, I can't imagine how any one critic may write this release off entirely. Whether it be Rosenstock's descriptive, often humours lyrics, or his jaunty battle crys, this World certainly isn't one I hope to disremember.
This review is a user submitted review from Brandon Allin. You can see all of Brandon Allin's submitted reviews here.