After a quick spin through the major label life, Say Anything are set to replant their flag in the wild barrens of indie-punk on March 13. Until then, we've got an exclusive streaming premiere of the band's Equal Vision debut here, a week early. "Anarchy, My Dear" is 49 minutes of focused maturity, impressive instrumentation and barrelfuls of frontman Max Bemis's acerbic and eloquent lyricism. It's also probably the group's crowning achievement.
"I 100 percent know in my heart, more than I ever did, that we made the best record we could," Bemis told Billboard recently. "One of the main things behind the writing process for the record was wanting to write something that would really just wow our core fanbase."
One way the group aimed to impress its listenership was to strip away everything that distracted from "the core of what it's about," as Bemis says. "We definitely wanted it to be less slick than the last record. I think we had gotten a chance to express ourselves creatively in a very over-the-top, stadium rock way for a couple of records. This record is about rebellion…I think that calls for a more energetic performance on the record as opposed to something really overly labored."
The group, which launched a self-titled album on Sony's RCA Records in 2009, now has a self-titled song, as well. Leading with the line "Condemn my race to genocide if it meant that I could lay with you," the tune is a representation of Bemis's willingness to accept any manner of torture rather than lose his wife, Eisley singer Sherri DuPree-Bemis. It's also plenty telling Bemis would choose this exact number to bear his band's namesake. "We wanted to have a flagship song, and I think the mixture between not only the fact that it says 'anything' within the song multiple times, but the fact that the song really is a mixture of romantic notions, hopeful notions, and this dark, sort of cynical light -- I think that's pretty indicative of what the spirit of our band is," Bemis told us.
Die-hard Say Anything fans will also dig the commonality with the group's 2004 breakout hit "…Is A Real Boy." The key was the "sense of chaos and an anything-can-happen sort of excitement," according to Bemis. And indeed, it's as heavy on this album as it was on that one eight years ago. Hear it for yourself.