Review Summary: Well I guess this is growing up.
Growing up fúcking sucks.
when we're kids, in our heads we think we're adults, but at what point in our adulthood, do we realize we're still kids? That’s essentially the question that Adults!!!
proposes to the listener. The album almost acts as a precursor to the existentialism and growing-up-pains shown in the lyrical content of Jeff Rosenstock’s later efforts. Of course, Adults!!!: Smart!!! Sh¡thammered!!! And Excited by Nothing!!!!!!!
still plays like a Bomb The Music Industry! album; in fact, it bridges the gap (along with Vacation
) from BMTI and Jeff’s solo efforts so well and so seamlessly, it plays so perfectly between the two. Adults!!!
is pretty much the essential project for any fan of Jeff Rosenstock and his workings because of its honesty, maturity, along with its sense of living as a punk in your 20’s.
Songs like “Slumlord” paint the picture of what Jeff and the rest of BTMI were going through at the time, but as well as what the entirety of the DIY scene was experiencing at the time. This happens in such a catchy and well constructed way, it almost feels too well constructed if i’m being honest. Jeff paints such a vivid setting with the opening lyrics of the song by describing his living conditions in New York so well and with such gaiety, that you’ll almost wish you were there just to experience it. With dual vocals from keyboardist Laura Stevenson, the song is practically engineered to be the quintessential drunken singalong extraordinaire. And while there’s only 7 tracks in total on Adults!!!
, don’t let the album sell you short. Each song is unique and packed with so much personality from everyone in the band individually and it feels like nothing else in music as a whole. The whole 21 minutes feels like a nonstop punch after punch of genius songwriting, phenomenal, and intricate instrumentation, as well as a unique atmosphere that sets the album apart from the other bands’ releases. As soon as the opening horns and the head-pounding drumming kick in, the album essentially never slows down and this lets it keep an invigorating pace. That’s how Jeff Rosenstock, Laura Stevenson, and company roll, and they roll better than pretty much the entirety of the ska-punk scene.
Jeff provides some of the most compact and darkest lyrical contributions of his career. Even before his solo projects, Jeff shows earlier hints at his fear of getting older on almost every track here. As I stated in the intro, the question that Adults!!!: Smart!!! Sh¡thammered!!! And Excited by Nothing!!!!!!!
proposes is, essentially, what point in your life do you realize everything is relative in some way or another? Well, Adults!!!
doesn’t really answer that directly, but that’s because it doesn’t have to. In all the stories and tribulations the gang describes here, it answers itself. Life and its experiences are all relative in some way, regardless of age, class, race, sexuality, gender, upbringing, or whatever it may be. That’s what makes music such a beautiful thing. Even if we haven’t all dealt with the exact experiences Jeff or BTMI has doesn’t mean we can’t compare our own wisdom, experiences, and faults and bring them to the table. Adults!!!: Smart!!! Sh¡thammered!!! And Excited By Nothing!!!!!!
is an album for everybody, because we’re all smart, Sh¡thammered, and excited by nothing in our own respective individualities. We’re all relative, that’s kind of the cool part of this whole “being alive” thing.