Like that guest who turns up without warning, but brings one hell of a party in their wake.
Label: Equal Vision Records
Released: 5th February 2016
Blimey. Say Anything have gone and pulled a Beyonce, haven’t they? Apart from the many, many obvious similarities between the two, it’s handy that the same conclusion can also be drawn: their album is a great surprise.
So why “forego the dying art of the lead-up” and share their new album immediately? Well, as Bemis writes, to “[destroy] any notion of feeling blasé about music”, to put it right out there, straight to the endgame, the listener.
‘Give A Damn’ wastes no time leaping from a bassy twang straight through the speakers with a ferocity and group chant you can’t ignore. ’17 Coked Up Speeding’ is Bemis’ spat storytelling at its finest, one of many opportunities to vent and shout to your heart’s content alongside him. ‘The Bret Easton Ellis School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’ is a slower burn, where ‘#Blessed’ is infectious but toys around a little. ‘Attaboy’ is a standout, lethargic but commanding, touching on the all-too-common question of Batman as a relatable person, in a seven minute epic.
It all has that little bit of oomph about it, whether in attitude or the ambition of stretching what they do. This album is like Bemis & Friends, with Darren King (Mutemath) and Paul Hinojos (At The Drive‐In) being just two of many names who threw into this mixing pot. This is Say Anything sort of winging it, making music as it comes; it has all the hallmarks of their past albums in there but clear shifts into trying something a little bit off their radar.
“We don’t give a damn what they say,” they chant – well, whether they give a damn or not, ‘I Don’t Think It Is’ is like that guest who turns up without warning, but brings one hell of a party in their wake. Heather McDaid