By Michael Obrecki
It’s been interesting being a Say Anything fan over the last few years. Long before the band Man Overboard was defending pop punk, Say Anything was carrying the banner for the genre. With early success in the 2000’s, Say Anything became a mainstay in the pop punk/emo scene. Now in 2016 the band has released a surprise album I Don’t think It Is and I’m not sure what to think of it.
The last two albums from Say Anything, Anarchy, My Dear and Hebrews were not the typical pop punk/emo masterpieces I’ve come to expect from the band.
Max Bemis, the lead singer of the band actually ranked Anarchy, My Dear the worst Say Anything album in an article from Nosiey (bit.ly/1LMEyJQ). Bemis stated that “It’s basically the only time I’ve had an existential crisis about being a musician—whether or not I wanted to do it, a quarter-life crisis”.
I wasn’t a fan of Anarchy, My Dear and Hebrews. Honestly I hadn’t really thought of Say Anything in awhile. Then while browsing the good old Internet I stumbled upon a post linking to the band’s new album I Don’t Think It Is. The release was unannounced and Bemis gave a reason why “Stream this one song, now stream this lyric video! I just want to hear the record! I figured the biggest present I could get is a band I love saying, hey, we have a new record. I wanted to do stuff like this in the future where we’re putting stuff out because we want to and because we want to keep telling the story of the band”.
One of the most interesting aspects of this record is that it’s Kayne West approved. Bemis and West have a mutual friend which is how the meeting between the two took place. Bemis describes the experience “We got an opportunity to work on a song with him, I don’t think he used it…. he told me which songs he liked the most, he gave me production advice. But he was rocking out. We were rocking out to each other’s stuff, he actively gets into it when he listens”.
So what does a Kayne West approved punk album sound like? Well, this album is what I consider more “punk” than any other album Say Anything has ever released. Any fan of the band will be instantly drawn in with this particular album.
The opener “Give A Damn” has that angst that punk rock is known for. The album is an experimental piece of music that will require more than one listen. As a longtime fan of the band I enjoyed the return of more of a punk rock sound. This new album is a solid addition to the bands catalog but I can’t help but feel like the future holds something even better for Say Anything.
Listen to “Chicago Punk Rock Radio” with Michael Obrecki
Wednesday’s at 8pm on WCRX 88.1FM.