By: Grant Vance ~Managing Editor~
Progressive punk collective Say Anything surprised fans last week by dropping their unannounced sixth studio LP, “I Don’t Think It Is.”
The group, centered on the artistic sensibilities of front man Max Bemis, never settle on a particular sound, but gradually grow more and more progressive with each new album. They push the limits to a new level with their newest entry.
Following “Hebrews,” Bemis’ guitar-less coming-of-age experiment addressing the trials and tribulations of fatherhood, “I Don’t Think It Is” continues to move the group in a new direction without compromising the unique factors that establish their eccentric style.
As grounded as it is in Say Anything’s roots, “I Don’t Think It Is” sets itself apart as a very distinct entry in their expansive discography. Though the album is arguably the most stylistically punk to date – with tracks like “Give a Damn” and “Attaboy” providing no holds barred paced greatness – there’s also a clear rap influence.
Bemis has stated his regard and appreciation of the genre in the past taking it to the next level this time around. “I Don’t Think It Is” is constructed on the collaborative nature of rap records and includes tracks like “Goshua” that sound like they should be on a Kanye West album.
Interestingly enough, Bemis recently met West and received complimentary feedback for the record. He stated in a message accompanied with the digital album release that he wanted this to be Say Anything’s “Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”
Say Anything’s lyrics are one of their more distinctive features and “I Don’t Think It Is” doesn’t shy away from Bemis’ self-deprecatingly autobiographical prowess.
Littered with self-reference and obscure metaphors, Bemis proves his one-of-a-kind lyrical style is here to stay no matter the overall direction the band takes—anarchal world perspective and oddly specific opinions on Batman and Disney princesses included.
Though I love the album as a whole, some personal favorites include “17 Coked up Speeding” and “Varicose Visage,” which both perfectly encapsulate what makes Say Anything so great and how the band has matured since their introductory studio LP “… is a Real Boy.”
Bemis is constantly working on new projects, including his ongoing “Song Shop,” in which he gives fans the opportunity to buy a personalized song that he writes and performs. He is also involved in writing comic books, currently Marvel’s “X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever.”
Say Anything is set to begin touring Apr. 20. “I Don’t Think It Is” is currently available for digital download with a physical edition including four additional tracks set for Apr. 15.