Album Review: Anarchy My Dear

22 April 2012 | 11:15 am | Daniel Cribb

It may be early days, but as far as pop-punk records go, Anarchy, My Dear has strong potential to end up the best in its genre for 2012

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The intention of this album, as frontman Max Bemis describes in a slightly wanky way, is to convey the band's love for anarchy via thought-provoking, idiosyncratic lyrics. Anarchy, My Dear sounds great, but in no way does it comes across as Bemis hoped. The 11 tracks on this record don't have any upfront or obvious connections with one another, which kind of defeats the purpose of a concept album. Slightly gritty vocals and the odd mention of corporations on one or two songs is as close to anarchy as it gets – if nothing else, the idea made for some decent artwork.

The other problem Say Anything's fourth studio album has, and this is a fault on the side of the engineers, is the dynamics between quiet and heavy sections aren't distinct enough. A quiet verse that builds up into a powerful chorus isn't as effective when Bemis' softer singing is the same level as his yelling. With that said, both of these problems aren't too detrimental to the overall feel and flow of the album.

On a more positive note, the songwriting and instrumentation on this record is carefully thought out which results in very few moments of boredom. Say Anything have taken conventional pop-punk and fine-tuned it into something unique by drawing from a wide range of other genres. It may be early days, but as far as pop-punk records go, Anarchy, My Dear has strong potential to end up the best in its genre for 2012. Just don't expect a flawless flow.