October 23, 2007 - Doghouse/J
The rise of Say Anything has been both well-deserved and tumultuous. The band’s 2004 debut ...Is A Real Boy, though critically acclaimed was overshadowed by drugs and lunacy, leading many fans to wonder if SA brainchild Max Bemis would survive another album, let alone life itself. Thankfully, Bemis successfully came out the other side on In Defense Of The Genre, producing an opus that musicians more than twice his age could only hope to create. What could be called the band’s White Album, Genre features 26 songs that celebrate the highest highs (“Retarded In Love”) and lowest lows (“Goodbye Young Tudor, You’ve Now Outgrown Me”) of a band trying to find their place in an ever-changing scene-and a man trying to find his place in an equally ever-changing world. Highlights include “The Church Channel,” which offers a revealing look at Bemis’ last trip to rehab, and guest appearances from Pete Yorn (“Skinny, Mean Man”), Chris Conley (“Sorry, Dudes. My Bad”.) and Gerard Way (the title track).