Say Anything say a lot in a US whiny rock mood.
An album called '...is a real boy' is clearly hankering after Pinnochio comparisons, so you may expect to see reference to the band sounding wooden or how their sound Disney sound too original but any such puns would be cheap and certainly be below the level expected of a room thirteen review.
Say Anything are the latest in a line of angsty Americans with issues to get off their chest and their pleasing yet slightly inconsequential tunes make the right noises but don't tend to linger on too long. Like a faint whiff of a sophisticated ladies perfume or more pertinently, the binge and purge feeling of eating a Big Mac only to remain hungry is the over-riding impression from this record.
Revelling in selling out to a major label as they believe they have plenty to say to a mainstream audience holds no shame these days and the quality of the songs should over-ride any snobbiness of indie fans to the bands attitude but this is where the album falls down.
Musically, its fine, the keyboard stabs and fills are interesting and the guitars have that low-key prowling thing going on that seems to be in vogue these days but offers little more to catch the eye. The vocals are screamed at times and this may hint at a strong passion or power but is backed up by little true emotion behind it.
'Chia-Like, I Shall Grow' has an interesting riff, akin to the Manics of Holy Bible era and Max Bemis's vocals and there is a crunchy sound to this song that very nearly pulls off a triumph.
There may be anger or pain in never getting to have sex with a certain girl again but when the song is little more than what Sum 41 would consider as light, filler material its hard to imagine this record becoming a staple in many peoples listening posts. Of course there will be a market for this type of music; American whiny rock seems to hold a special place in the hearts of the UK's teenagers, no doubt seduced by their foreign accents and film-like videos as there is nothing in the musical content to stand them out from their peers and rivals.
Clocking in at around the hour mark, theres a lot of music to plough through and at times, just too much. Again, if this brand of US rawk works for you, it'll be great value for money but overall its just too much of a sameness to get truly excited over.