The anonymity of POST-’s title seems to serve the same purpose as Sorority Noise’s record You’re Not As ___ As You Think; a polite invitation that the listener apply themselves, evoking that trite but useful cliché of a blank canvas. Post what? Post-Trump? After the politically (and aging) sensitive existential crises of Jeff Rosenstock’s previous record, post-WQRRY.? Post-everything? Or post-nothing? Unlike most other music which asserts itself as political POST- contrives no attempt at answers – neither to its title or our political upheaval – but is instead content in anxious diarising. No diagnoses or prescriptions, just personal laments, and the album’s all the richer for it.

Jeff Rosenstock, better than any artist in the last 18 months, captures the destabilised emotionality of the everyday person endeavoring to twist reality into something approaching sense. Sure, we’ve had invigorating polemic from Kendrick, YG, Princess Nokia, and Vince Staples, to name just a few; but they’re writing a mandate for us to better ourselves through action, not offering a dirt-speckled, cracked mirror reflecting our “tired and bored” selves. ‘All This Restless Energy,’ ‘Powerlessness,’ and ‘Banging My Head Against The Wall’ flag the incongruous duopoly that we’re all surviving to some extent; that bristling restlessness undercut by sagging lethargy and domineering fatalism.

It takes a lot of effort to be a good person unfailingly 24/7, and none of us are infallible. We stress about trying to be good, or at least be constructive, and then stress about stressing, and so we by and large fail to improve as people. On ‘Powerlessness’ Rosenstock sings “I called it positivity and congratulated myself on a job well done/ But after a couple of days the fire that I thought would burn it down was gone,” earmarking the delusion that intention is just as laudable as action that’s pretty endemic in the US and here in the UK. ‘USA’ is a seven minute monolith that scans the American socio-political climate through the prism of an enduring Civil War, where that war’s facilitators have been unresolved and irreconciled 150 years on, bleakly implying that such restlessness and lethargy have been simmering for generations, or even bleaker, human nature. ‘9/10’ unnervingly condenses our predicament; why should we try to do better when we can nap instead.

Rosenstock’s songwriting has always been enjoyably hook-centric – if you enjoy belting riffs and rapacious percussion and haven’t yet checked out his band Bomb The Music Industry! then please, treat yourself – but POST- continues WORRY.’s habit of cohesion and uniformity. Of course, there are still plenty of hooks scattered throughout; including the escalating chord changes on ‘USA’ and the wavey reverb on ‘All This Useless Energy’, while ‘Beating My Head Against The Wall’ is the best Joyce Manor song since Never Hungover Again.

But there’s variation here, a sympathetic voice which uplifts the anxiety if it doesn’t balance it; it should, of course, be unbalanced. This isn’t a balanced fucking time. ‘TV Stars’ scorns celebrity exceptionalism and its complicity in oppressing the little guy in a gorgeously melodic piano ballad, and the slowjam ‘9/10’ unravels mundanity with “Every little victory don’t matter/ If nobody seems to care”. Meanwhile the ska-lite ‘Yr Throat’ and ‘Powerlessness’ are bitesize levity, before the all-inclusive chantalong closer ‘Let Them Win’ finally gets in on the polemic-prescriptive act. As a collective package, POST- is incredibly accomplished.

You’ll relate - hard - you’ll be shook, you’ll feel attacked, because this record underlines in red marker some uncomfortable truths which are articulated uproariously. POST- has set an extraordinarily high bar for the rest of punk in 2018 to clear.