Review – Say Anything – Say Anything Saturday, Nov 14 2009 

Say Anything

Their music is now just as indistinguishable as they are.

I just finished a top-to-bottom meal of Say Anything’s new self-titled album. I know what I think about it. Problem is, I don’t know what would be the best way to express my opinion on the album. As any semi-regular reader will know, I have three speeds: sarcastic, self-important, and overly-emotional (sometimes all three at once). I’m having trouble deciding exactly which speed would be best to describe this album. You know, I think I’m going to give all three of my alternate personalities a chance to shine.

Sarcastic Dion: Jesus Christ, what happened to Max Bemis? I could blame it on his falling in love, but love doesn’t automatically mean one’s songs have to suck (i.e. Bob Dylan), so let’s not blame Sherri DuPree; this record is all Max’s fault. Every track screams of an artist who needs to stop listening to his own albums while masturbating in the mirror. Say Anything sounds like little more than a Say Anything cover band formed by scene kids who, apparently, don’t like Kanye West or Kings of Leon very much. The nerve of said scene kids to bash any other artists while performing lyrically miserable, wanna-be electronica (“Crush’d,” “Do Better”) or songs so desperately begging to be teen angst anthems, it’s almost embarrassing to watch them fail (“Hate Everyone,” “Mara & Me”), is, perhaps, the greatest understated irony of this tragedy of an album.

Self-important Dion: Seeing Say Anything sellout so dramatically drains a little bit more water out of my “Faith In The Music Industry” pool, leaving it nearly as shallow as this record. Make no mistake about it; these songs were made to ooze pop-appeal and garner record sales. Occasionally, the record stumbles upon a catchy chorus (“Property,” “Eloise”), but with no substance to speak of, these are the kinds of songs you hate to have stuck in your head. Then again, substance is not something that matters when it comes to record sales, and Say Anything continue to demonstrate that they will do anything to make it big. Whether it’s dumbing down their music, cutting their hair, or going online and begging fans not to download the record if it leaks (true story), it seems Bemis and Crew have sold themselves completely to their label and the almighty dollar. *Sigh* Capitalism ruins another great artist…

Overly-emotional Dion: And it’s sad to see them go. Say Anything were, for me, the rebel yell of my teenage years. When I heard “Admit It!!!” from …Is a Real Boy, I wanted to go out and yell in the face of everyone who would dare deny that my views, my opinions, my character was valid. Max Bemis’ songs meant something to me. Say Anything meant everything to me. It’s painful to see that the band no longer seems to care about the music that once defined so many of their fans. The grit is gone. The hunger is gone. Say Anything is dead.

Normal Dion: This record is bad.

Overall score: 1.7/10

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Max Bemis and Sherri DuPree Starting New Project Tuesday, Aug 25 2009 

The Bemises - The New Carpenters, But Even Less Punk

The Bemises - The New Carpenters, But Even Less Punk

According to Max Bemis’ Twitter, he and his wife Sherri DuPree-Bemis (who sings in “indie-rock-for-kids-who-don’t-like-indie-rock” band, Eisley) will be making some music together in the future. Frankly, I’m not sure whether or not scene kids can handle so much mediocrity in one group. This project has a lot of potential. I mean, I thought Max Bemis has officially set the standard for terribly bland music when he released In Defense of the Genre. Then, he topped himself with Two Tongues, mixing his flavorless songwriting with the nasally whines of Chris Conley to create a triumphantly unappealing record. For a second there, I actually thought there wasn’t a musical concept left that could possibly move me to tears of boredom so effortlessly.

This time, however, I have faith in Max Bemis. After all, one look at the song-titles on his new album will let you know that Sherri DuPree-Bemis has already had a disastrous effect on Bemis’ already underwhelming song-writing ability (it takes balls for a 25 year-old man to write a song called “Crush’d”). Bemis and DuPree-Bemis have the opportunity to construct one of the landmark albums of our generation, the one by which all other albums are compared. I can see it now…

Dave Grohl: How do you like our new record?
Friend: Dude, it’s absolute garbage.
Dave Grohl: Oh… well, at least it’s not as bad as that Bemis-To-Bemis album, amirite?
Friend: Oh, absolutely. I’d rather listen to Bjork have an orgasm than sit through that piece of shit.
Dave Grohl: I’m just glad Kurt’s gone. He never has to hear it.

Max Bemis Hates Everyone… We Hate You Too, Max Monday, Aug 17 2009 

All you had to do was grow a beard, Max.

All you had to do was grow a beard, Max.

Max Bemis is quickly replacing Rivers Cuomo as the artist who disappoints with more striking consistency. When Two Tongues was first released, I was still a Say Anything fan. Needless to say, the record’s boring musicality and complete lack of fascinating lyrics took a toll on my Say Anything fandom. Now, with the release of “Hate Everyone”, the first single from Say Anything’s self-titled fourth record, I can unilatterally declare that I am no longer a Say Anything fan. In fact, I may just hate them.

This song makes me think not even Max Bemis understands exactly why the band’s second album …Is a Real Boy was so damn good. You see, that album had a certain self-deprecating humor about it that was instantly appealing to sixteen year-old Dion. Now, as I near my 20th birthday, perhaps I have simply outgrown Max Bemis’ antics. Or, more likely, Say Anything has forgotten the subtlety that used to blanket their raggedy punk rock sound. What we’re left with now is a glorified joke song that would be more at home on a Weird Al Yankovich parody of Weezer. The music shamelessly rips off “I Found The Law” while the lyrics are little more than line after line of tongue-in-cheek (read: stupid) self-deprecating lyrics.

Max Bemis has always benefited from being the main character of his own songs. Well, it seems that the character has become a bit of a Gary Stu, a walking stereotype, lacking any interesting characteristics. I seriously don’t think I have the patience to listen to 45 minutes of Max Bemis pretending to be fascinating, as it appears that’s all this record will be; twelve of so songs of Bemis masturbating himself. How odd that one of the people Bemis claims to hate are “actors who seem genuine”. Max, I hate to break it to you, but that is all you’ve become; an actor.

Should Max Bemis Grow A Beard? Thursday, Jul 30 2009 

According to this thread on AbsolutePunk.net, the online music community seems to think Max Bemis of Say Anything should grow a beard. Quite frankly, I think it would be a great show of solidarity with his fans. Sure, playing acoustic versions of old songs is fine but why not take it one step further? Bemis has often said that Say Anything exists to bridge the gap between musician and listener. What better way to represent this than by letting your fans determine your facial hair growth habits? If you think Max Bemis should grow his beard, Tweet the link to him.

Oh, and while you’re on Twitter, why not follow us?

An Open Letter to Max Bemis of Say Anything Thursday, Jul 16 2009 

In response to a story posted earlier (https://thedecomposedblog.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/say-anything-post-update/), David Pritchard, who helps run this very blog, has posted an open letter to Say Anything’s lead singer, Max Bemis. The blog post touches on all the issues that myself, David, and others have been seeing in Say Anything in recent months.

Like I said, I did once love Say Anything. I thought “Admit It!!!” was ME, and that I was the good guy in a sea of evildoing scene haters. But I have moved beyond that point in my life, Max. I have grown up and now I understand that polarizing and divisive rhetoric is nothing but hurtful and stupid. You, Max, are hurtful and stupid, transitively. I don’t need to like your band to be open-minded; I don’t need to hate your band to be cool. In fact, I can be quite cool without hating your band. I contend that I was before, and I’d love for you to point out what changed so drastically that makes me a reprehensible human being because I no longer like Say Anything. Until then, I will spread “nay nay” by disagreeing with you and your attempts to create a hegemony of opinion.

The full blog can be read here: http://davidwpritchard.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/dear-max-an-open-letter-to-the-frontman-of-say-anything/


Say Anything Post Update Thursday, Jul 16 2009 

After getting butt hurt over some comments over at http://www.absolutepunk.net, Max Bemis posted an update on facebook, bashing the “nay nays” (aka, people who don’t like Say Anything) and thanking his fans for being awesome. He also posted a video of an acoustic version of an early Say Anything song called “Colorblind”, performing the song for the first time since he was in high school. The quote is as follows:

I was casually visiting absolutepunk.net and i went to a thread about say anything, namely about the song titles for our next record. i do this once and a while but less than you’d think; i am just weary of “nay nay”.

for your information, “nay nay” is a say anything inner-band term we use for senseless b.s with very little foundation that assumes itself to be the end all be all truth (i.e when you’re at a party and someone says jay z is there and everyone starts to say that he’s 100% there or coming and by the end it just turns out it was a rumor.) nay nay can also apply to the crap puked up by people who think that they need to force their opinion on others. there’s a lot of nay nay in the world so, like i said, i try to avoid say anything threads so i don’t get butt-hurt; i am a sensitive dude (which many posters forget some creative people are and proceed to bash them or make rude comments about the loves of their lives JUST SAYIN’). i am always worried that if i start reading i won’t be able to stop and i’ll end up a self loathing bulimic who just sits in front of the computer whipping myself with a belt and weeping, shamelessly addicted to the endless train of nay nay.

anyway, i went regardless. i was THRILLED to find that you guys are still super nice about our band. with a lot of bands that stick around and do reasonably well, you tend to get a lot more “overrated” or “i liked them when he was fatter” type posts but generally you guys are still totally rad…..

i love you all. those who said they were stoked, even those who said they liked our first record more, or only like the second disc of our second record; hey, you’re allowed! we partially made this new record to win you fickle sons of guns back. plus If you’re one of the many people I saw who have consistently liked ALL our output, i still think this will be your favorite say anything record.

i just have to again flat out thank all the fans of our band for the amazing experience you keep creating for us. i will never underplay how much i owe you guys and i promise we’ll have new music up for you to hear as soon as we’re allowed. I can 100 percent guarantee the new record exists… so don’t worry!

Until then, since you guys are being so patient, I thought I’d finally shut the heck up and play a real old say anything song for you guys. i haven’t played this or any old say anything song since i was in high school and you guys are always bugging me to do it, so here you go. I hope you like it, and again….THANK YOU.

More updates to come.

-Beems Von Beemenstein

Put your headphones on (the audio is really quiet) and then click here to watch the video…