Crate Digging is a recurring feature that takes a deep dive into music history to turn up several albums all music fans should know. In this edition, Jeff Rosenstock shares his selection of 10 albums that are fucking awesome.
You might know Jeff Rosenstock from his excellent new album, Hellmode. You might know him as a former member of Bomb the Music Industry! or the composer for Cartoon Network’s Craig of the Creek. Perhaps, you only recently became aware of Rosenstock thanks to his thread calling out merchandise cuts that sparked a tirade of hot takes and internet beefs. However you’re with familiar him, though, it’s important to understand this one crucial aspect of his artistic and personal identity: he’s one cool dude.
A long-time hero of DIY communities, punk circles, and underground rock music, Rosenstock has spent his career earning the most indie cred punk fans have seen this side of Ian MacKaye. He supplements his outspoken morals with incredibly well-written, moving, often kick-ass songs. Hellmode, his fifth solo effort, continues such a legacy, as Rosenstock works his way through personal anxieties and political frustration with equal parts grace and raw energy.
“You don’t just experience one feeling, you experience a lot of them, and they all kind of butt up against each other and it doesn’t make any fucking sense,” he says of writing Hellmode. “So, it makes you feel fucking crazy because you’re just like, ‘How can I be happy that this thing is happening while this other terrible thing is happening — but also I have to be happy or else I’ll never have enough strength the terrible thing! And now I’m stressed about that!'”
While tackling similar themes to his past work, Hellmode sees Rosenstock and his collaborators injecting more beauty and allowing for more moments of rest than ever before (especially in comparison to the often blistering NO DREAM). Rosenstock has always been an artist who’s an unabashed fan of music across just about every genre, and his latest batch is yet another document of his resistance to stylistic stagnation.
To find out just how wide his tastes truly are, we asked the songwriter to tell us about 10 albums he thinks fucking rock. Luckily, he came through in spades. Check out the 10 cool records he thinks you should hear below.
Rosenstock also recently kicked off a new tour, and you can grab tickets to upcoming dates here.