The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Defending their genre

Say Anything pushes their name to the limit with the recent release of their two-disc album, In Defense of the Genre, featuring twenty-seven songs.

The indie-rock/pop-punk band who comes out of Los Angeles, California released their last album …Is a Real Boy in August of 2004. Featuring six members, Say Anything is headed by 23-year-old Max Bemis who does the singing and writing for the band.

The album starts off with “Skinny Mean Men,” which after a twenty second intro is a slap in the face of quintessential Say Anything. The song features the organized chaos that has won the band fans over the years.

One song is all they give to familiar sounds, though. From here on they mix things up very well, appearing to reinvent themselves with each new song. It is in the songs where they do this that you can really hear the growth of the band, which seems to produce a more cohesive sound this time around than ever before.

Examples of the wide range of music that can be heard between the two discs are songs such as “That Is Why,” which sounds like a ballroom song mixed with Bemis’ notoriously witty lyrics.

Then there are songs like “Retarded In Love,” which has a distinct sound similar to Queen, and others such as “I Used To Have A Heart,” which has an early-nineties alternative feel, reminiscent of a band like Heatmiser.

For fans that fear too much change, do not worry, there are still a number of songs that will remind you of their older material like their first single, “Baby Girl, I’m A Blur” and the catchy song, “Shiksa.”

Other than the great songs on In Defense of The Genre it is also a memorable album for the sheer number of guest appearances it presents. The long list includes members from bands such as Taking Back Sunday, Bayside, Saves the Day, New Found Glory, Underoath, among many others.

With so many songs, it is unrealistic to expect each one to be great, but there are easily twenty-plus quality songs on this record, which makes it more than a bargain.
Throughout the twenty-seven songs Say Anything seems to touch every corner of music, experimenting with sounds that not only “defend the genre,” but broaden its definition.

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