For his band’s fourth album, Say Anything front man Max Bemis scraped up every last ounce of his signature angst from major label RCA and brought it to Equal Vision Records. You can hear his signature emotionally charged, growling vocals from the very first track, “Burn A Miracle,” which was also the album’s first single.
If you’ve followed Say Anything at all in past years, you know Bemis’ history as a tortured poet, suffering various emotional disorders over the years. News is he’s at peace now, settled down and married, but fans of his usual rage will be pleased to hear that Anarchy, My Dear retains the band’s unique, more-than-just-pop-punk sound. The album even contains a sequel to 2004 album …Is A Real Boy’s “Admit It!!!,” entitled simply, “Admit It Again.” The song’s title says it all too, as it is basically a reiteration of the original. “You were listening to my band in 2004 though you claim you were reared on The Stooges,” roars Bemis in reference to his band’s second album. “Defining your own self-worth by the opinion of a stupid website with Satan as its figurehead,” he rants about Pitchfork followers. With the prominence of this music website today, it’s no wonder Max Bemis is still angry (and the infamous website has not posted a review of his latest).
The album also has moments of more thought-out than rageful emotion. “Peace Out” is pleasant, acoustic track, which features a hammered dulcimer, adding a nice touch, but all this is juxtaposed with Bemis’ lyrics, which embody Cee-lo levels of “f*** you.” “How is that worm’s eye view?/ I have grown two broad wings and now I’m above you,” croons a vengeful Bemis before the song fades of into a waterfall of dulcimer.
More tracks full of descriptive lyrics follow, such as “Of Steel” and the title track, “Anarchy, My Dear,” which gives insight into Bemis’ rebellion against the rest of the musical sphere. “Anarchy, my dame/ I quiver at your name,” sings Bemis. It is this mentality that sets Say Anything apart: stripped of superficiality, Bemis creates his own anarchy through emotional transparency.
Rating: W – P – G
Key Tracks: “Burn A Miracle”, “Admit It Again”, and “Peace Out”
RIYL: Saves The Day, Motion City Soundtrack, The Wonder Years
Check Out: “Burn a Miracle“