Say Anything: ...Is a Real Boy
Yeah. That's right. Pop punk. When did it become derogatory? Wasn't Green Day pop punk? Dookie was as full of hooks, vocal harmonies and syrupy bass fills as any third eye blind or matchbox 20 album. It's just that Green Day's songs were, uh, good. I suppose their non chalance in calling their album "poo," helped them out a bit.
Weezer was pop-punk. Powerchords and songs about youth-riddled angst, is what punk really is. And isn't that Weezer? Sure, Rivers' songs were more about girls than angry political juvenescence.
I think we have Blink-182 to thank for derogating 'pop punk.' Despite their penchant for brilliantly filthy album titles, Thanks to their efforts—or lack thereof—I will manually change the genre 'Pop Punk' when it DLs from the CDDB database. Blink achieved a status near that of the Backstreet Boys. Naked, instrument playing Backstreet Boys, but boy band nonetheless. Following their demise, they brought us the onslaught of crap that now passes as punk to the Hot Topic generation. There's no emotion, no vigor, no character.
Nothing like buying your rebellion at the mall.
Of course, as I approach my 25—uh, I mean 85—birthday, I am a bit remorse to listen to a band named after a movie that was released well into the stride of my lifetime. I am too old to be listening to this album. I enjoyed it and I felt guilty. I shouldn't still like music like this. But when Trent Reznor and The Corrs have a song that sahres the same title, I liked the refreshing strain of the disc. But, I could not help but to feel guilty. Like a lonely girl who gets depressed eats an entire pan of brownies in shameful self resentment.
Lead singer Max Bemis evokes a young Tim Kasher, unfortunately without the range, but he's definitely doing his own thing, not singing.... well, just that, not singing at all. He's almost chanting through verses with a monotone slur reminscent of Craig Finn, but with more swagger and lyrical style.
Contrasting the strained, yet strangely non-melodius vocals are over-dubbed chants, middle of the verse riffs, a touch of synths, and enough oohs, aahs and whoas, to make Trail of Dead roll over in their (proverbial) grave.
With all the production there's still a youthful energy over the distortion. Couple it with track upon track of noise laden harmony resulting in catchy hooks.
It's like the sorority girl found out all those brownies were fat free.
And were baked with a 1/4 of dank buds.