He sounds like a regular guy with the complaints of a regular guy, and he plays punk rock because it's (relatively) easy and gives him a soapbox to yell about the things in life that rub him the wrong way. What sets Rosenstock apart from the vast majority of regular guys is he's smarter than most -- not an intellectual, but with some functioning brains inside the good head on his shoulders -- and he knows how to write songs, simple and sturdy and hooky enough to carry the shout-along choruses he favors. The fact Rosenstock is a passionate D.I.Y. musician with a long resume of former bands and runs a small label doesn't blunt the regular-guy vibe of his work, and that's part of what makes it so effective. He doesn't aspire to be a leader or a spokesman, he's a rock & roll lifer and working stiff like a huge percentage of his audience, and he has no beef with that. 2020's No Dream, Rosenstock's fourth studio album as a solo act, is passionate and kicks out the jams, not suggesting he wants to reinvent the wheel but that he knows how to get it to roll and pushes it fast and hard in the right direction. You've got a bunch of personal songs about life as an adult in the 21st century, a bit of political protest ("No Dream"), punk-centric meditations on the high price of success ("Fame"), and stories of the perils of life on the road ("State Line"). Very little of this is groundbreaking, but all of it rings true, and Rosenstock and his band play and sing with the conviction that their stories may be common to others but are life and death to them. In an era in which pop-punk has been increasingly integrated into the mainstream of popular music, Jeff Rosenstock is a Regular Joe, something that genuinely matters, and No Dream reminds us that sometimes the right kind of ordinary guy is something very special; may he never become jaded about the music and scene he clearly loves.