Say Anything writes possibly the funniest and most real lyrics I’ve ever heard. Forming in the Los Angeles area, the band currently consists of Max Bemis on vocals, Coby Linder on drums, Jake Turner on guitar, Jeff turner on guitar, Parker Case on keyboards, and most recently Adam Siska (formerly of The Academy Is) on bass guitar.
Band front man Bemis is not afraid to tell you (or rather, yell at you) the way he feels…especially you, Molly Connolly. …Is A Real Boy, their second full-length album, only qualifies and highlights this fact. The album even begins with irony: the first track, “Belt” begins with Bemis and a companion talking about the lines that Bemis has to open the album up with. They have a little conversation about how Bemis has anxiety over the fact that he still has to record the “spoken word introduction to the record”. Immediately following this small exchange, we hear the spoken words he had been mentioning that he was anxious about “And the record begins with a song of rebellion”. I always appreciate the fact when musicians acknowledge that they’re recording an album on the actual album, and the fact that we even got to hear a little bit of Bemis’ “anxiety” made this introduction a little extra sweet.
The next song, “Woe”, also plays with the idea of singing about actually being in a band and what this means. In this song, Bemis sings about a girl “taking pity on [him], horizontally, but most likely because of [his] band”. I love that Say Anything does this on their albums—I feel like they are providing a more intimate experience for the listener by not “pouring their heart out” by putting emotional clichés into their lyrics but instead being blatantly honest about what their lives are like as band members. Sometimes hearing the absolute, hard truth is just what I need in music. It makes for a more fun listening experience.
The fourth track on this album is my absolute favorite, possibly one of my favorite songs ever made. “Alive With The Glory Of Love” is a love story, but coming from Say Anything you can thankfully leave out the ooey-gooey feelings you would originally associate with a typical love song. Bemis is essentially singing about how badly he wants to “do” the girl living through the invasion of this war, and the song gets progressively more excited the more he talks about it. Towards the middle, there is an ultimate crescendo, which I can only describe as sounding like an orgasm, as he sings about being “alive with the glory of love”, even saying “speed it up, GO!” at one point to demonstrate his absolute eagerness. The song slows down immediately following this “climax”, which is seemingly symbolic of the post-sex “cool down”. Once it picks up again, I’m assuming it’s nothing but round two.
“The Futile” is perhaps the most brutally honest song I’ve heard in my entire life, but it is so damn good. This song could possibly offend some people, as Max screams “what do the old people teach us but how to die” and “what do your hissy fits teach you except how to cry, pussy, cry”, but perhaps he does make valid arguments. I just love the line “the futile outweighs the beautiful”, because in reality this is how it goes. Bemis is preaching to us through strong yelling, but it feels so right to listen.
We’ve all had our fair share of heartbreak in our lives, and Say Anything brings it together in one, angry song, “Every Man Has A Molly”. In this case, however, we witness a breakup caused by Say Anything’s music. I’m glad to see a girl didn’t effect their music production, because this song is more graphic and blatantly angry than perhaps any other song on this album. In a weird way, I wish I could say I was Molly Connolly. She sounds like a bitch.
The final song on the album, “Admit It!!!”, is the longest song on the album, and is essentially the perfect example of a Say Anything song. This song makes fun of the types of people that Say Anything proceeds to hate: namely, “conformists”. This song also features anecdotes about being in a band, and how Say Anything would rather be loners in a band than be conformists with nothing to show for themselves. I consider this Say Anything’s quintessential anthem. “Admit It!!!” is a phenomenal way to leave the listener wanting more…thankfully, you don’t have to wait long, because they provided a bonus album with the re-release of …Is a Real Boy, entitled …Was A Real Boy.