I’ve said before that I used to be into the whole alternative music scene, but less and less so in recent years. Back when I used to have regular access to a car I’d listen to Chicago’s Alternative Radio Station – Q101. There was just something about alternative rock that made getting from point A to point B a more enjoyable experience. As I grew older my tastes changed and now I find myself more inspired by the modern electronic sounds from Europe that seem to be creeping onto the airwaves here in the States. That being said, I still pride myself on having a wide variety of musical tastes, and alternative rock is definitely still one of those genres that I’ll always fall back on when the mood is right. This genre of music (more often than in electronica) knows how to incorporate hard, driving beats, pleasant melodies and meaningful lyrics.
Enter the Los Angeles-based indie rock band Say Anything. This is a perfect example of an alternative band that strikes a chord with me. I don’t know if it’s the band’s punk influence or what, but there’s just something about this band that I am really digging.
Say Anything is currently out on tour to support their self titled third album (released November 3rd), eager to deliver the dedicated fan base a worthy follow up to their 2007 double disc In Defense of the Genre, which was touted by Entertainment Weekly as an “ambitious artistic statement.” Deliver they do!
The 12-track collection was produced by Neal Avron (Weezer, The Wallflowers, Fall Out Boy, Everclear) and is available in a deluxe edition which features a vinyl LP of the album as well as the standard CD, MP3 album download and an exclusive early demo featuring 9 songs. Also included in the deluxe package is a 2-sided 3D poster, glasses, guitar pick and a T-Shirt based on the design of the uniforms worn in the “Hate Everyone” video. WOW. As if Say Anything fans ever had to doubt the band’s appreciation – this deluxe package would definitely confirm as much.
Recording together early in 2009 in LA, Say Anything is front man Max Bemis, drummer Cody Linder, bassist Alex Kent, guitarists Jake Turner and Jeff Turner and keyboardist Parker Chase. While In Defense of the Genre paid homage to the fans and the band’s musical influences, the new album “steps out of tradition and tries to do things differently by making an impression not just based on a sense of artistry or maturity,” explains Bemis. “We want to be able to affect anyone who listens to it. It’s a bigger, more accessible undertaking.”
According to Bemis, the album’s song cycle “tells an uplifting story about finding oneself and trusting again,” which is definitely a welcomed change in a genre where lyrics are oftentimes filled with references to drug addiction and other similarly melancholy topics of discussion – topics that were very much present in the band’s last album. While there is an element of darkness in this record, Bemis says that the new disc is “more fun.” I couldn’t agree more and while I haven’t heard the bands previous albums, I’m very inclined to check those out now. Favorite tracks on the album include “Hate Everyone,” “Do Better,” “Ahhh…Men,” “Less Cute,” “She Won’t Follow You,” “Cemetery,” and “Young Dumb and Stung.”
The whole tone of the album seems to be a bit lighter. Heavy, dark alternative rock music always leaves me feeling depressed. Not so with this record. The band is nearing the end of a 32 date tour which kicked off October 14th in California. The band’s next date is tomorrow, Sunday November 8th in Carrboro, North Carolina at Cat’s Cradle. The tour wraps up in West Hollywood on November 22nd.
I definitely feel my musical tastes are changing once again and bands like Say Anything may be just what I need to move my musical tastes in another direction.
1. Fed to Death
2 Hate Everyone
3 Do Better
4 Less Cute
6 Mara and Me
8 She Won’t Follow You
9 Cemetery Max
11 Death For My Birthday
12 Young Dumb and Stung
13 Ahhh… Men
Check out the band on tour with opening acts Eisley and Moneen.
11/8 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle
11/10 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
11/11 Orlando, FL The Social
11/12 Orlando, FL The Social
11/13 St. Petersburg, FL State Theatre
11/16 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
11/17 Austin, TX Emo’s
11/18 Dallas, TX The Door
11/20 Tempe, AZ Marquee Theatre
11/21 San Diego, CA House of Blues
11/22 West Hollywood, CA Troubadour
Check out Say Anything on the web: