Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Out Today: Say Anything

Posted By on Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 11:00 AM

say_anything.jpg

Say Anything
Say Anything
(J)

For six years, Say Anything have attracted a devoted legion of fans with frontman Max Bemis’ uber personal songwriting. As a bipolar Jewish kid from Los Angeles who struggled with drugs and spent time in a mental hospital, Bemis is the ultimate tortured artist. His lyrics about heartbreak, sex, religion and mental problems make him stand out from his contemporaries. Even though he’s happily married and not quite so tortured these days, Bernis is still writing about heartbreak, sex, religion and mental problems. But his songs are even better. Say Anything's self-titled third album opens with “Fed to Death,” which begins with just an acoustic guitar and Bemis’ raw voice, before the whole plugged-in band joins in. “Hate Everyone” is classic Say Anything: self-deprecating lyrics, polished but not over-produced. “Crush’d” proves Bemis can write a love song. When he sings “I’m quite sure I love you, Sherri,” even his harshest critics would have a hard time keeping back smiles. The album’s closer, “Ahh … Men,” begins just like the opener: just Bernis and an acoustic guitar working their way to an epic combination of gang vocals and spoken word. Say Anything works best when it combines both old and new sounds. Whether it’s the strings on “Do Better” or the sarcastic "Property,” the band tests out some fresh sounds while still writing biting lyrics. Not too many bands can get away with a line like “You’re like Björk with better fashion sense.” Once again, Say Anything manage to stand out in whatever genre you want to put them in. —Brittany Moseley

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

More by Michael Gallucci

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar