Music: an expression of humanity, escape, a soundtrack to life, deep passion….
I’ve never liked Say Anything. I remember seeing their videos on MTV2 in post Dashboard Confessional emo/popunk scene when Fall Out Boy was popular and bands like Thursday and Saves the Day could find their way onto regular rotation on MTV2. And I remember just never really being a fan of what I heard or saw from Say Anything. I tried to give their last record, Hebrews, a spin, but after a couple of songs I found myself largely uninterested. But when mewithoutYou tweeted about Say Anything’s surprise new record, I clicked over to sayanythingmusic.com and gave the record a spin. And you know what, I kind of liked it.
Don’t Think It Is is mostly a collaboration between Max Bemis and his brother-in-law, Darren King of Mutemath. The record also features members of The Blood Brothers, At the Drive-In and a host of others. It’s also kind of described as a hip-hop record. Which in many ways it feels like that. If hip-hop had a guy who just yelled all the time.
If the album’s opener, Give A Damn, doesn’t hook you right away, you should check your pulse. The chorus is super catchy and simple that it gets engrained in your head. Where the verse explodes and creates this funk groove for Bemis to screech over, the chorus is beautiful and pop driven. It sounds like a song I wish Mutemath would write. 17 Coked Up Speeding feels like an older Say Anything track (from limited vantage point). It’s the most (new wave) emo song on the album. Rum balances between a really cool hip-hop track and a great pop chorus. It’s one of those tracks that has radio hit potential, but is just weird enough to keep it indie and underground.
So Numb is a pure punk song. The melody shines through the rough exterior of the track, but that balance of beauty and grit creates an excellent track. Goshua is the most pure hip-hop track. Reminds me of tons of underground hip-hop artists I’ve heard. The hook is one of my least favorites on the record, but the verses hit like pure fire! On the flip side, Jiminy is an indie rock gem. Lo-fi and fuzzed out with a terrific melody.
Princess has a gorgeous cacophony of sounds layered on top of each other. #Blessed and Wire Mom are both great indie pop songs. Varicose Visage closes the record with the same intensity that opened the record. It’s also a super hip-hop influenced song.
This wasn’t a record I ever thought I’d enjoy but the more times I listen to it, the more I love it! Bemis, King, and crew created a really unique and killer musical experience. I can’t speak to what Say Anything fans might think of this record, but I love it! 5 out of 5 Stars!