Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Out Today: Say Anything

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


Say Anything
Say Anything

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

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Michael Gallucci

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

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


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation