March 13, 2012 - Equal Vision
This review originally ran in AP 285.
After struggling with 2009’s uneven self-titled release, Say Anything majordomo Max Bemis has abandoned major labels and hooked back up with Tim O’Heir, the producer behind SA’s high-water mark, …Is A Real Boy. The result, Anarchy, My Dear, isn’t as thrilling or fresh as Real Boy was eight years ago, but it’s still a nice return to form for one of contemporary emo’s most gifted, honest songwriters. Aside from “Admit It Again,” another scathing indictment of hipster culture, much of Bemis’ musings this time around are focused inward, both about his shortcomings (“So Good”) and his new confidence (“Overbiter”). Both of those tracks prominently feature guest vocals from his wife, Eisley vocalist/guitarist Sherri DuPree-Bemis. Unlike on Say Anything, though, DuPree-Bemis’ presence this time around feels less shoehorned in, helping contribute to a loose, lively, fun record.