rewind: In Defense of the Genre - Say Anything
rewind takes you back to a previously released album that we don't want you to miss.
words: Kassie Salas
Everyone has that album, that one album that tugs at their heart-strings, reminding them that they’re human and it's okay to cry, to be mad, and to wish that life could be a bit better than it is now. For me, that album is Say Anything’s In Defense of the Genre. You could say I'm biased when it comes to this being one of my favorite albums because Say Anything also happens to be my favorite band, but bias doesn't play a role here.
I rediscovered this album in 2012 while staying at an aunt’s house in California and was instantly reminded why I fell in love. Since then, In Defense of the Genre has helped me through times where it seemed like all was lost; whether it be break ups, job loss or even the feelings of wondering what I'm going to do with my life.
With the album's 10-year anniversary coming up in October, it’s time to relive just how musically creative and inspiring this album can really be. As soon as the distorted voice chimes in at the beginning of “Skinny, Mean Man” followed by drums that sound as if thunder is booming right behind Max Bemis’ gritty, angry vocals you know that for the next 89 minutes you’re stepping into a whole new world.
From Broadway-esque songs like “That Is Why,” to melancholic acoustic songs like “Goodbye Young Tutor, You’ve Now Outgrown Me,” In Defense of the Genre defies everything you expect of an average emo/pop-punk album. The further you go, the more this album hits you with surprises. Bemis even takes the time to bring up his mental health in “Sorry, Dudes. My Bad.” which features friends (including Chris Conley of Saves the Day) reminding him that he’s human and everyone has their problems, and on “The Church Channel” which tackles mental health and addiction while trapped within an asylum.
In Defense of the Genre is filled with many gems that you can’t help but replay constantly like “We Killed It” which lures you in with a steady beat, leading up to Bemis screaming “Do you remember me?” into your ears, or the sweet love song that is “Shiska (Girlfriend)" that makes you want to dance with your lover and never let them go. There’s no shortage of other amazing artists that appear on the album, including Paramore’s Haley Williams, Bayside’s Anthony Raneri, Circa Survive’s Anthony Green, and even My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way.
Each song holds a certain meaning and melody, requiring repeated plays to catch it all. In Defense of the Genre is more than meets the eye (or ears,) and will always be a lyrical and musical masterpiece within the pop-punk/alternative community