We would like to wish everyone a safe and happy new year. We look forward to being with you in 2008!
Techno-infused, lyrically blunt and bold, raw and un-tethered vocally styled, raging guitar-incorporated, keyboard-based, clearly dance-and-mosh-ableÃ¢â‚¬”these phrases, despite their possible contrasts and obvious wide ranges, can easily describe a single band’s new album.
1989 romantic flick-named band Say Anything has, in past albums, delivered an overall and certainly not unheard of punk rock sound. Their clever, metaphorical lyrics and versatile vocalist were the main consistent elements positively highlighting this band as they slowly transitioned from an earlier punk pop-rooted sound to their more recent hard rock music. Their lack of other remarkable musical components was probably a contributing factor to the idea that Say Anything had yet to rise to the top of a highly competitive mainstream rock industry, even with their constant musical progression, tours with successful mainstream bands, and expanding fan base.
However, this multidimensional new album contains several new musical components, which, combined with this band’s unchanging spunk and slightly modified past musical trends, create an overall more distinguished sound than has ever been heard from Say Anything.
Whether or not a listener is to agree with the thought that Ã¢â‚¬Å“In Defense of the GenreÃ¢â‚¬, Say Anything’s recently released twenty-six-song, two-disc album, conveys a more honed sound than previously, certain changes in sound are undeniable.
The most critical change between Ã¢â‚¬Å“…Is A Real BoyÃ¢â‚¬ and this latest addition to SA’s discography is the intense keyboard base of Ã¢â‚¬Å“In Defense of the GenreÃ¢â‚¬, (a key example being the heavily keys-incorporated Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Church ChannelÃ¢â‚¬). The almost techno sound of similar tracks (robotic voices, unidentifiable-sourced beeps, considerable bass-infusion and all), and the harsh lyrics, raging vocals, violent guitar, and beat-maintaining drums Say Anything is known for, mesh to create a musical style unique to this band’s newest album.
Despite these advancements, Say Anything has, as is apparent, remained true to the few enduring traits that have been illuminated in the band’s ongoing life span. For one, frontman Max Bemis’s lyrics continue to detail his Jewish religious beliefs (or lack thereof), whether with subtle mentions or entire tracks devoted to them (Ã¢â‚¬Å“Died A JewÃ¢â‚¬), the same applying to references to his bipolar disorder and its effects on the band (Ã¢â‚¬Å“Sorry, Dudes. My BadÃ¢â‚¬). Religion and mental distress aside, Bemis’s lyrics remain sometimes bitter and constantly candid and clever, possibly to the extent of being obscene at some points. While his words are riveting, they are, even in Say Anything’s latest album, yet to become profound.
The voice that sings said lyrics, also belonging to Bemis, has persisted in its flexibility, ranging from rough, almost furious hard rock-esque vocal tones (Ã¢â‚¬Å“Skinny, Mean ManÃ¢â‚¬) to calm, verging on serene sounds (Ã¢â‚¬Å“An Insult to The DeadÃ¢â‚¬). The twenty-three outside vocalists and musicians featured on this album only enhance his wide-ranged vocals. Guest vocalists Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, Hayley Williams of Paramore, Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday, and Peter Yorn, are only a few of the many other notable singers and musicians featured on Ã¢â‚¬Å“In Defense of the GenreÃ¢â‚¬.
The meshing of Say Anything’s former and newfound musical style featured on Ã¢â‚¬Å“In Defense of the GenreÃ¢â‚¬ was successfully carried out by this up and coming bandÃ¢â‚¬”a sure feat, especially considering the album’s extended, twenty-six-song length. In most instances, the idea of Ã¢â‚¬Å“short and sweetÃ¢â‚¬ should be applied to artists seeking to produce albums over fourteen or fifteen songs, with the concern that songs with higher potential or quality will be swallowed up by more mediocre songs. However, in this instance, the phrase Ã¢â‚¬Å“short and sweetÃ¢â‚¬ needn’t be applied, as each of the twenty-six tracks is of high quality and exceeds full potentialÃ¢â‚¬”so long as listeners have the patience to listen to each of them in turn. This is something that should be highly recommended to longstanding and new fans of Say Anything alike, or anyone interested in picking up on a surely soon- to-be hard-hitting band.
1. Skinny, Mean Man
2. No Soul
3. That Is Why
4. Surgically Removing The Tracking Device
5. This Is F***ing Ecstasy
6. The Church Channel
7. Shiksa (Girlfriend)
8. Baby Girl, I’m A Blur (MAIN)
9. Retarded In Love
10. People Like You Are Why People Like Me Exist
1. Spay Me
2. In Defense Of The Genre
3. The Truth Is, You Should Lie With Me
4. The Word You Wield
6. About Falling
7. You’re The Wanker, If Anyone Is
9. We Killed It
10. Have At Thee!
When you listen to music, you want to hear everything from the first drum beat to every guitar lick and lyric in between. In recent years music has been getting louder (in terms of production) and its making music sound less and less pleasing. This recent article on RollingStone.com (“The Death of High Fidelity”) confirms that “the loudness war” is real and in full effect. Making music louder on the mastering level can degrade the quality of dynamics on a song and in turn make it sound like just noise, maybe thats the reason our parents always think we listen to “noise” because they were use to the full dynamic sounds of yesterdays music. On top of albums being produced with louder instruments and vocals, the increased use of headphones and small computer speakers on top of compressed music (mp3′s) makes todays music painful to listen to sometimes.
What do you think of the idea of albums being made louder? Do you think its acceptable because you listen mostly on headphones and mp3′s, or do you feel today’s music is loosing quality and bands should fight to have the music sound more dynamic? Let us know your thoughts.
Story Of The Year recently posted an update on their signing with Epitaph Records and their decision to do so. The band also talks about the recording of their new album. You can read the update below.
Greetings from St Louis, MO. So did you all hear the news about us being on a new label? We are really excited. What’s funny is that it’s not only us that’s doing this, bands like Thrice are going the same way we are; they went from a major to an indy (Vagrant.) Fucking Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead have both severed ties with major labels, and are releasing music themselves. Radiohead is supposed to eventually release their new record with a independent, but for now, they are fucking label free. It’s a crazy time. People don’t buy records anymore (well, most people anyway), and the major labels are totally freaking out. They are dropping bands and resigning them for half the money. They are firing everybody. They are taking bands merch and touring income. It’s nuts. If a band doesn’t have a mega bubble-gum shiny pop hit, chances are the label will not even put the record out, much less push it. To me, it just doesn’t seem like a very cool environment to be in. The music would eventually suffer, and that’s fucked. How can you be creative if you’ve got people calling you right and left telling you how your record should sound? So our situation is definitely what you would call a blessing in disguise, because at first I was freaking out a little bit. But when all is said and done, the music is the only thing that matters, and I know we made a great choice with Epitaph. We make music that we love and that we want to hear. We don’t give a fuck if its rock, polka, metal, or country. If we love it, than we are happy, and we are with a label that understands that…. ….. ….. So that being said, this record is definitely shaping up to be our best yet!!!! We have spent so much time writing, and even though we have basically disappeared for the last year, it was the best thing that we could of done. I’ve personally written over 60 songs, and about 30 of them the band has turned into full on Story of the Year songs. (The rest I’m selling to Cher) From these we have to pick about 15 to record. That will suck – I love them all. But fucking great songs. My band rules. Dan’s lyrics (with help from the beloved skull) have gone above and beyond any he has done. A couple of these songs go deeper than I would have ever expected. Phil’s voice sounds like pure sex, Josh is fucking crushing, and my riffs are like buffalos running over old people. I feel like as a songwriter and guitarist, these songs are my best ever… ….. …. We’ve already finished recording with Feldman. It actually couldn’t of been any better. We spent about 2 weeks or so with him in Los Angeles and did 4 songs, and now we head to Virginia on thursday where we will spend a couple of weeks doing the rest of the record with Mr Elvis Baskette. (He has worked on 2 of my favorite records : Incubus / Make Yourself and Stone Temple Pilots / CORE). We are going to live in a stellar beach house right on the ocean and make music all night and day. It’s going to be amazing. I feel like the luckiest person alive sometimes. I wouldn’t trade my band and music for all the money in the world. Fuck i want everyone to hear this record NOW!!! …. ……. …… We finished with Feldman a bit early so I got to fly home to St Louis for a couple of days. It’s so rad here in the fall. The trees are all turning orange and red and it’s cool enough to wear jackets and jeans. I fucking love the fall. Last night I saw Into the Wild. AMAZING. I read the book, and it just made the movie better, which is usually the opposite. This movie hit me real hard.
I almost teared up a bit. But I don’t cry, I lift weights and drink beer and bbq dead things. Anyway, just wanted to say hello and share my thoughts with my lovely fans. Record and DVD coming. Tours coming. Videos coming. Studio picture diary coming. We are full steam ahead. ROCK ROCK ROCK ROCK ROCK ROCK ROCK ROCK ROCK…. Ryan
Panic! At The Disco have updated their website with a puzzle showing the date 01.01.08.
The 2008 Alternative Press tour has announced The Matches, Sonny, and Forever The Sickest Kids as support. The co-headliners will be announced on January 4th.