SINGLE REVIEW: Say Anything – “Six Six Six”

say anything six six six review

​Artist: ​Say Anything
Single: “​Six Six Six”​
Album: ​Hebrews
Label: ​Equal Vision Records

Being a Say Anything fan isn’t always easy. Max Bemis is possibly the most volatile songwriter in the scene — changing his style drastically between releases to fit whatever new concept he’s come up with. As seen in the bulk of 2012’s relatively disappointing Anarchy, My Dear, the drastic high concept style isn’t always successful, and many fans are left clamoring for the “glory days” of …Is a Real Boy and In Defense of the Genre. The problem with Anarchy, My Dear (ignoring the fact that the record leaked online two months early with a horrible sample rate) was Max’s incessant promises that this record was better than …Is A Real Boy and that it was his first true punk rock album. The record’s abundance of sappy love songs and acoustic guitars proved otherwise, and fans were rightfully bummed.

In the months since the band’s new record Hebrews has been finished, Max has kept almost entirely quiet, aside from the occasional excited tweet or mention of guest vocals. Now that we’ve heard the album’s fantastic first single, “Six Six Six,” it’s pretty clear why Max didn’t want to give us any expectations.

Picking up where Say Anything’s self-titled record left off, “Six Six Six” is a synth-laden anthem, with Max questioning his place in the religious world. The cynical and self-depreciating lyrics we’ve come to know and love on …Is A Real Boy are back and better than ever, with gems like “I belong in jail, but I lied my way to heaven with a wife who hasn’t learned that I’m Satan yet” and “All I want is to dethrone God, so I can be crucified.” Sonically, this is a whole new Say Anything. The record apparently contains no guitars, instead choosing to lead the instrumentals with an orchestral synthesizer. The structure is jarring, with a few tempo changes to mix things up. It’s like three completely different songs have passed by the time the bridge featuring guest vocals by Andy Hull (Manchester Orchestra) kicks in. As confusing as it gets, the last minute and a half of the song release into a stadium-ready sing-along outro that represents all of the heart that was missing on Anarchy.

While there’s no safe bet as to what the rest of the record will sound like, “Six Six Six” is a promising first single. This feels like the most honest attempt at music that we’ve heard from the band in years, reminiscent of their uncomfortably confessional debut. The slightly disjointed guest vocal spot screams In Defense Of The Genre, and the overtly religious themes and poppy production recall a more raw version of the controversial self-titled record. “Six Six Six” shows that Max has been paying attention to what worked in the past decade of Say Anything, and has delivered what could be the apex of his musical career.

Hebrews is available for pre-order here.
Review written by John Bazley (Twitter)

John Bazley

John Bazley was raised in central New Jersey by the romantic aura of the Asbury Park beachfront, punk rock, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. He is still trying to figure all of this stuff out.

In addition to UTG, John has contributed to Alternative Press and Full Frequency Media. Follow him on Twitter for pictures of his dog.
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  • SteveDoninger

    There was nothing wrong with “Anarchy, My Dear” at all. Stop putting it down so much.

  • K. Bennett

    I would have to agree. I am not wild about it… but I never thought it was nearly as bad as a lot of people make it out to be. I think it just comes back to the problem bands have when they put out an album (…is a real boy) that hits so big and gets them so many hardcore fans… nothing lives up to that. Example… Brand New will never live up to their first two albums to so many people… you can even break them apart separately because they obvious have their own fan base.

  • Anthony D.

    I never knew there was so much hate for Anarchy, My Dear. I still listen to that album regularly and find it to be a decent record. Is it Say Anything’s “worst” album? Probably. But calling any album by a band as amazing as Say Anything the “worst” isn’t really saying much. It’s still better than 90% of anything else released into the world and mislabeled as “music.”

    Either way, as someone who loved the electronic aspects of the self-titled album, I’m really excited to see how the rest of this turns out. This single is, quite frankly, epic so if the rest sounds anything remotely like this I’ll be happy.

  • Derek Baker

    The biggest thing wrong with “Anarchy, My Dear” wasn’t the album itself, but the way it was presented. Max talked it up to be a big punk record and it was anything but that. It was probably the tamest of all their records. Even if you wanted to refer to punk as an ideal rather than a genre, the album was filled with sappy love songs that definitely don’t fit the punk ideal. Had Max not made it seem like he was trying to do a throwback to “…Is a Real Boy”, I think people would have a different perception of it. Instead he wrote “Admit It, Again” and constantly tweeted about using Tim O’Heir as his producer.

  • Album Review TV

    FANTASTIC?!?!?!?! Are fucking kidding me?! Jesus this is easily the WORST song Say Anything has ever released, it sounds like it was recorded by an angry teenager who is just learning garage band

  • I can definitely see how this song is polarizing, but I really think that it’s great. I was taken back at first listen by the weird synth, but the more I listen to it, the more I love it; the structure is crazy, the lyrics are better than anything on Anarchy, My Dear, and that release at the end is nothing short of epic. It’ll be interesting to see how the synth/production works in the rest of the album. Thanks for reading!

  • Thanks for reading! I think Anarchy is definitely a good record, it just didn’t live up to the high expectations that Max set for it and (as you said), it’s comparatively Max’s weakest effort. I still go back to “Overbiter,” “The Stephen Hawking,” and “So Good” pretty often.

    The back half is pretty forgettable and some of the lyrics are hard to digest though. It’s not as consistent as the other three (not counting Baseball here), and “Admit It Again” is clearly a poor attempt at trying to recapture the fans that only liked the old stuff. There are a few tracks that I skip almost every time I listen, which I can’t say about the other records. Is it a bad record? No, but it’s definitely the weakest Say Anything record.

  • Agreed- the problem was the way in which it was promoted, not the record itself (although it is flawed).

  • Interesting that you bring up Your Favorite Weapon and Deja Entendu, I’d say that BN topped both with TDAGARIM handily.

    You make a good point about …Is A Real Boy though. This isn’t that band anymore, and they’ve never been one to repeat a record.

  • Mo

    I actually really enjoy this song, it just has a certain vibe to it. Now I wasn’t the biggest fan of Anarchy, My Dear, but it represented the growth of Max Bemis and even the love for his wife. This song reminds me of his insane lyrics and crazy metaphors from Is A Real Boy and In Defense of the Genre. Max Bemis is still amazing in my opinion. I love his comics and other works. This single I enjoyed the first time I heard it, I can’t tell you why… I just loved the lyrics and the sound!

  • K. Bennett

    I would probably agree with you about TDAGARIM… if I were in the right mood. That is how I am with Brand New. It all depends on my mood. Deja Entendu will always hold a special place in my heart tho because it is what got me into them.

  • Jerry Mandering

    Their worst song? “Say Anything” is by far their worst song. This song is alright. I hope this new album is more like their self-titled record than AMD.

  • Come on- “Died A Jew” is their worst song.