Monday, December 7, 2009

Case File #7: "Admit It!"

Say Anything
"Admit it!"
...Is a Real Boy

The need to know: A bi-polar, socially anxious frontman and one of the best young guitarists in the scene are, oddly, just two reasons why Say Anything have emerged as pop-punk's most promising band of rogues. Frank lyricism matched with furious guitars is just too good a combination to pass up, even though mental illness and rumored drug addiction, which singer Max Bemis often divulges in song, nearly sidelined the band as their true 2004 debut ...Is a Real Boy got a second lease on life, and a bonus disc, in rerelease by J. Records two years later. A manic, epic double album,  In Defense of the Genre, found the band back on its feet (and Bemis once again exorcising his demons) and their eponymous third album appeared in 2009. 

Why it's worthy: Part spoken-word diatribe, part loud, fast guitars, "Admit it!" finds Bemis at his vicious and honest best. But it's not so much a song decrying the bullies of his youth or the plague of hipster elitism as it is a victorious fist pound of underdog triumph. Far from the whine typical of the emo scene, "Admit it!" is a loser anthem without the loser and sticks to humorous and harsh criticism rather than devolve into a complacent whimper.  Ever insecure, Bemis aims his snarky crosshairs at himself as much as at his enemies and at many points it's hard to tell which is which. Either way, Bemis never apologies for his scathing mockery because, well, it's kind of the truth.

Quotable lyric: "Prototypical non-conformist/  You are a vacuous soldier of the thrift store Gestapo"

Where you've heard it: Blasting from my car windows circa 2005.

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