Post-it Notes (Jeff Rosenstock, POST- review)

Making music isn’t something for everyone, but everyone needs music in their life. When economic anxiety has become the new buzz term to describe the state of western nations, then I think it only makes sense for an artist to come on the scene and shake things up.


Jeff Rosenstock – POST-

released March 23, 2018
********* 9/10

Jeff Rosenstock is an American musician and songwriter hailing from Long Island, New York. He’s been involved in a ska band (The Arrogant Sons of Bitches), an indie rock group (Kudrow), and a musical collective (Bomb the Music Industry!). It was only six years ago that Bomb the Music Industry! split up and Rosenstock had to decide what to do with himself. After a bit of deliberation he launched his solo career in 2012.

In those six years he has released three studio albums, We Cool?, Worry, and POST-. POST- was released digitally on January 1, 2018 to the surprise of so many people. It has since been issued through Polyvinyl and to generally favourable reviews – Most of the songs were created shortly after the 2016 presidential election and reflect Rosenstock’s disenfranchisement with national pride, non-confidence in people, and disbelief in himself.

it’s equal places angry and fun, something we could all do with in 2018. While that sounds incredibly daunting–and like a really tiring listen–the album’s most impressive trait is that it makes all that vital work feel joyous and communal

USA tells a story about the never-ending civil war of America, having never ended but instead become even more charged over time. It’s a strong opener and features lines like “we’re tired and bored” and “et tu USA” which smartly sounds like F U USA. Then we have Yr Throat and Powerlessness, which have a subtle taste of hope about bridging communication, but ultimately raise doubt whether America is worth the trouble.

Continuing this trend are All This Useless Energy and Beating My Head Against A Wall. Both tracks are strong indicators of what happens in the face of futile odds. Most surprising to me though is Let Them Win. A song about the importance of working together to combat evil behaviour and focus on we instead of you and I.

TV Stars reminds you of a Billy Joel song, and even has a reference to piano-playing, but most importantly there is a theme about loneliness and the fear of it, throughout the track. This also shows up on the next song, Melba, which it is probably the most happy song of the lot, and hilarious if you pay attention to the lyrics. Oddly enough it also reminds me of another song – I’ll have to get back to you on what that is exactly.

Pros: The energy of each song is amazing, and how Rosenstock manages to inject fun into such sweeping epics of ideas is something I haven’t seen in a while. Tackling difficult topics comes naturally to him.

Cons: Rosenstock is a victim of his own success. It mimics Me Too! but unfortunately isn’t quite as interesting as that initial outing.

Runtime: 40 minutes

Points of InterestIt was written and recorded mere weeks before it’s January 1 release date. Most of it  was recorded live onto tape, giving it a very lo-fi and earnest sound.

Now all that shared, POST- might not be Jeff Rosenstock’s best work to date, but it is far and above more entertaining/meaningful then so much other music that’s been released this year. This is a spiritual successor to other punk concept albums like American Idiot and The Monitor. It’s heartfelt, DIY, modern punk music, and I think it’s pretty damn accessible too.

theories Summarized

It’s cathartic and painful, bright and worrisome –  an anthem of economic anxiety as it were. POST- was given away for free on New Years Day, but I’d happily pay for it a second time if I were given the choice. It’s that good.

And speaking of albums I would happily buy a second time if it ever came up, Brendon and I have a great video review on the 2005 debut album Silent Alarm. This is essential Bloc Party listening and it features so many danceable tracks on it. Definitely worth a sit down. Or twenty.

I can’t believe that album is over a decade old already, but it was easily in my top five records for that year, and has been on heavy rotation ever since!

And remember, if you liked what you saw, and/or enjoyed what you read, please click on the like button, and even better, subscribe to the channel and my mailing list! I’ll be back tomorrow with a film review on The Shape of Water. A divisive film, yes, but I have an interesting theory on why it actually deserved to win so many Academy Awards.


Welcome To The Mixer (Crystal Fairy, Crystal Fairy review)


Peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, grilled cheese and tomato soup, cookies and cream, spaghetti and meatballs. There have been many great food duos discovered over the history of food pairing.

Why should music be any different? I always like to say that punk rock and metal go together like salt and pepper, but I think this weeks review, will really caramelize that idea for me.




Crystal Fairy – Crystal Fairy
released February 24, 2017
******** 8/10


Crystal Fairy are an ensemble band composed of some extra special American and Mexican rockers. Featuring the incredible talents of veterans Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover (The Melvins), Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (At The Drive-In), and fronted by Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes), Crystal Fairy are the best parts of punk, rock and metal all rolled into one..

They formed back in early 2016 and have spent the better part of the last year putting together songs that would eventually become a full-length album self-titled as Crystal Fairy.

To put it rather simply, this truly is an original and interesting effort because it combines the instrumental sounds of The Melvins with the vocals of Teri Gender Bender. If you are familiar with both bands Crystal Fairy sounds exactly like what you would expect it to… a punk rock opera of thrash and, believe it or not, pop.

The album plays fast and loose and takes no prisoners in it’s wake.

I suspect a lot that is owed to the fact that all of the members have had previous collaborations in one capacity or another. Which means that everyone gets to bring their strengths in without worrying about overstepping, and it works quite well.

I wouldn’t call this a super group though, because while each of the members have been successful in their own right, none of them have attained the level of ego that comes with large commercial success, and the music is better for it.

It’s an odd marriage of rock tempos, thrashing guitars and vocal intensity, but the combination of sounds allows the whole thing to feel cohesive, even when we switch between subdued and bravado. It really is difficult for me to review this album and not focus on Teri’s performance in particular. A couple of my favourites are the slower paced Moth Tongue and Necklace of Divorce, but that doesn’t mean that title track Crystal Fairy and album closer Vampire X-Mas aren’t praiseworthy.

If you don’t like metal music, you should listen to this album, it’ll change your mind. If you don’t like punk rock, well you should listen to this album, because it’ll change your mind. Now, if you don’t like pop, I really think you should listen to this album, as it’ll change your mind. But if you don’t like bilingual tracks, you’ve obviously had a bad time, so you should listen to this album, I swear it’ll change your mind.

No lie, this is probably one of the fastest album I’ve listened to in months. The energy within these tracks is infectious and while it doesn’t do anything innovative, that doesn’t mean it ain’t a hell of a lot of fun to listen to.


Crystal Fairy might not be quite as good as butter and corn. Yet. But I can assure you that as we get using to see this pairing for the genius punk rock with metal hybrid that it is, we’ll become more comfortable with this notion and both forms will see a resurgence in popularity once again. Seriously, I can see these guys giving both brands a boost in popularity. But that’s just a theory.


Cruisin’ California (Weezer, white album review)

The most interesting thing for many a youth is finding that coveted summer album they can play for the months ahead and be the cool kid, who knows what’s up.

Thankfully I can count myself among that crowd this summer. I may be giving away the results of this week’s album review a tad early, but dammit if I care. I am so happy to have this album review under my belt, so I can just get ahead with enjoying this record.

So here we go!




Weezer – Weezer (White Album)
released April 1, 2016
******** 9/10


Weezer is an American alternative rock band with emo, power pop, pop punk, and alt rock influences. They are originally from Los Angeles and consist of Rivers Cuomo (lead vocals, lead guitar), Patrick Wilson (drums), Brian Bell (rhythm guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), and Scott Shriner (bass, backing vocals, keyboards). 

This is their fourth self-titled album, affectionately known as the white album, and is preceded by the red album (2008), then the green album (2001), and the blue album (1994). But in fact, this is their tenth studio album, so don’t be confused by the naming, IF you are a new fan to the band.

Weezer have an interesting history, as is often the case with well-established musical acts. I myself was introduced to them from a fairly very young age, around the time that I was early in my high school year and when the green album was making the rounds. This was also in an age before the internet and self-promotion was the norm. Artists still used the radio and MTV to get attention for airplay. Then kids would hit the record store for vinyl and/or CDs and fall in love proper with the band of the day.

However, in Canada we had something called Much Music instead and so I was listening to the Much Music Big Shiny Tunes compilation albums to learn about cool new music. My friends helped too, but to be honest, I liked to explore when it came to music AND I was also happy to follow the advice of mentors along the way, so I deviated from the rap game a bit and explored the rock genre too. At this time, Big Shiny Tunes 6 was THE hot new thing, and Hash Pipe was featured on the track list.

And boy was that ever a good song… Seriously though.

Which leads me back to this album. You see, a lot of people will agree that the blue album, and the green album were brilliant albums, definitely the career moments for Weezer, and they are finally starting to accept Pinkerton as genius too. Pinkerton came between those two albums.

Then they released a couple more albums, and finally the red album, which wasn’t as good, but had me convinced it would be because of the self-titled nature of it. Then they released four more albums between 2008-2014 and people started to pay attention again. Everything Will Be Alright In The End was a return to form and got people excited about the band again.

But is the white album any good?

Well in short, yes. And the reason is that Weezer made an album where every single song is just as good as the previous one. In exactly the same way that the blue album and the green album were constructed. You see, as I mentioned already, we are now in the era of self-promotion and a level playing field (for the most part), when it comes to airplay and exposure. When Weezer was phoning it in and releasing albums with 2 or 3 good singles and a lot of fill, other bands were playing local venues, sharing their music online, and interacting with their fan base through emerging social media.

The white album is a redemption album. And like the blue album, which was an opportunity for a Californian act to make a name for themselves, or like the green album, a place for a band to reform and reinvigorate after a break from the scene (and a supposed failure in Pinkerton), the white album is about Weezer caring through the entire effort to produce something of merit.

I can’t tell you which song is my favourite, because like any good album, I cannot single out one track on this record for you to listen to. You need to hear it all. It’s inspired by California and definitely has a surfer vibe, which is what Weezer is good at.

So check out these music videos (1 2 3 4 5) and pick up this album. As a long time Weezer fan, and a music fan in general, I’m telling you that it’s worth it!




I will say this about one track of the album in particular. Endless Bummer is a fitting ending song for the white album. Because you’ll know the album is closing out, and that’s kinda sad. But no so sad that you can’t just put the album on repeat and start it all over again.

As I said above, I was so happy when I put this album on, because it meet my expectations of an album, and it was a personal triumph because I’ve been hoping for this Weezer album for years now. It probably deserves that 9, and in my heart I want to give it a 10 because I’m just that happy with it, but I’ll keep it at a 9 for you fine folks. That’s how serious timotheories is about it’s theories on the arts.

Until tomorrow, when we review another return to form, via the movie route, I’m out of theories for now friends.


Flower Power (The Cult, Hidden City review)

Lilies have a few symbolic purposes in culture. From Greek culture in particular, the lily represents birth and motherhood, and also sexuality. In Christian symbolism, it stands for chastity, innocence, and purity. When we get into the esoteric, we can combine the symbols of purity, innocence and fertility together, and then add in vulnerability and freedom of identity.

This week’s album is made by a musical group known for their love of exploration and consideration of the details, I wonder which symbols their lilies represent?




The Cult – Hidden City
released February 12, 2016
******* 7/10


The Cult are a British rock group which have been reunited twice since forming in 1983. Touted as a post-punk and goth-rock band since their inception, they are famous for the singles She Sells Sanctuary and Rain.

The group gained enough traction to enter into North American markets by the end of the 1980’s and kind of did things at their own pace after that point.

Hidden City is the 10th studio album by The Cult, and the third in a “spiritual trilogy” produced by Bob Rock.

I’ve always been a fan of The Cult since I first discovered them in my teenage years. This was well after they had already broken up once and were on their way to another split, but GTA: Vice City introduced a 90’s kid to popular music from the 1980’s, which I’m thankful for. And so  not content to collect the anthology, I eventually decided to buy Best of Rare Cult; a compilation of selected songs from the Rare Cult box set, which had been released in the fall 2000.

Maybe I’m fortunate for this decision or maybe not, but Hidden City features the energy of that compilation album and some of their more experimental artistic decisions.

For instance, Dark Energy is an incredibly appropriate high energy opener, laced with helpings of both mysticism and spirituality, something to get you excited and remind you why The Cult has a cult following, so-to-speak. How convenient for them!

In Blood features soft beats and dreamlike lyrics, while Birds of Paradise takes this further and really heightens the emotional pull.

Hinterland feels like an anthem for spiritual awareness but upon closer inspection I think it’s also an admission of guilt by Ian Astbury to the problems of ignorance and following routine in an age of connectivity and political intrusion.

But that’s the thing about The Cult. The surface and the core aren’t always the same and they play with this idea throughout the record.

Avalanche of Light has a great chorus and reminds me the major reason why this album exists in the first place. The Cult are exploring the intimate and the unknown – Hidden City is a metaphor for us. The tools may be guitars, drums, and microphones, but the result is still the same, a record by The Cult which features goth-rock like tracks Lilies and Deeply Ordered Chaos, which share in the metaphors of life.

You should check out the audio video for Dark Energy and the music videos for Deeply Ordered Chaos and Hinterland to get a taste for the album, but if you like The Cult, goth-rock or are looking for a place to test the waters of hard rock, Hidden City is a good place to go spelunking.




At albums end, I have to admit I’m not perfectly sold on the perfection of these tracks, but this is a damn good record either way. I’m inclined to theorize The Cult is pulling all of those lily symbols in and out of their songs, but I’ll let you be your own judge, after all, you have your own Hidden City to look after.

See you tomorrow for another shadowy review, this time it’ll be a movie.




Mattersville (Savages Adore Life review)

Ah anarchist symbolism, you just get me don’t you? It’s funny that a movement so strongly associated with breaking down institutions and challenging globalization can be identified by large “A” and black flag symbols, as well as the raised fist.

By having these symbols, the movement struggles with the mire of misrepresentation and stereotyping.

Opposing the idea that any one person or thing can represent us all is not a new one, for sure, but punk rock still feels like the music which most strongly associated with the importance of questioning ideals and self-governing societies.

But what does love got to do with it?




Savages – Adore Life
released January 22, 2016
******* 7/10


Do you folks ever buy an album solely based off of a single review you read, without doing any other research and trusting entirely in the efforts of that professional critic?

Well I can admit that I sometimes fall into that routine when I get super comfortable with someone. But these days I’m not sure if you can simply trust the opinion of one person to make all of your media consuming decisions.

And that’s what led me to do a review on Savages.

You see, Savages are an English post-punk band with roots in noise rock, and they’ve been around for about 4 years, with their 2013 debut album Silence Yourself boosting their attention into the UK charts and beyond.

As someone with heavy roots in the punk movement myself, listening to this album often feels like coming home and rightly so. With influences like Joy Division, Siouxsie Sioux, PiL, and Bauhaus, its hard not to see the dark and gloomy in Savages sophmore album. But that doesn’t mean it’s garbage and should be discarded like so much trash.

This is art rock with a heavy heart. Somewhere in between the post-modern notes and the torch songs, we find a band that is stirred by the mere notion of life.

“Is it human to adore life?” is repeated over and over in the eponymous album track. How can something so humble turn into an act of rebellion and affirmation? Drenched in confidence and love all at the same time? That’s the power of punk rock.

Manifestos and uniforms aren’t new to the genre, and political leanings often get rocked (pun intended) with every song, but Savages aren’t doing anything new here.

They’re free radicals in a soup of free radicals.

What makes Savages interesting is that this is human life in all of it’s complexity. What so many genres forget to do in their music is explore and be unpolished. Hell, none of us are. Sure we can get dressed up and go dancing, but we still like to wear sweatpants and dig into terrible microwaveable cuisine too.

When you listen to bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, My Chemical Romance, and Death From Above 1979, you’re not doing it to numb the pain, no you want to embrace it and say to the world, fuck you, I’m still here and you can’t get rid of me that easily.

Tracks you will want to watch out for are definitely Adore and The Answer, not because these are the best songs on the record, but because it gives you a better taste for the intensity of the foursome.

The songs are overall an elemental and unquestioning force for love, but I think Sad Person, The Answer, and T.I.W.Y.G. are the ones to pay attention to.




That there is the rub – love doesn’t need to be left out of punk rock considerations, but because love is just as complex as freedom, punk rockers don’t often touch the subject with much emotional vulnerability.

Well Savages are not afraid to jump directly into the water and challenge these issues either. And for that reason alone, you should give this record a listen.

That’s all I have to say about this foursome, but I hope you have a marvellous Monday my friends, and I’ll see you tomorrow with another movie that features an “M” word.