Review Summary: The Used debut album has power, beauty, emotion, catchiness, flare, and impressive musicianship; everything a person looking for a new band wants to find.The Used
’s self-titled debut album is one that many other bands would have wanted to make. With this album, The Used
brings new meaning to the phrase “beginners luck”. What would have taken other bands various attempts to make, The Used
nails on their first try. It has power, beauty, emotion, catchiness, flare, and impressive musicianship; everything a person looking for a new band wants to find.
This album can’t be placed in a specific genre. In different quantities it contains punk, pop-punk, hardcore, post-hardcore, and probably some bits of others like screamo. However, it doesn’t matter exactly where it belongs because for good music, genre falls into a second plane.
This album is one that changes back and forth from heavy to calm. This isn’t only in moving from hardcore punk to a ballad, this is something that also applies to the vocals and music. In the same song Bert’s vocals can extend from screaming, to hoarse singing, to a clean delivery, and the music can go from acoustic strings to full on punk guitar riffs and drum attack. Now, don’t get me wrong and think that this album is just a chaotic mess. The songs are very well constructed, the vocals and the music complement each other perfectly, and it all goes in tune with the lyrics and emotions.
Bert is able to give an impressive vocal delivery. From the hard hitting punk songs like Says Days Ago
, to the soft beautiful ballads like On My Own
, he hits every note, screaming where he had to, knowing the extend of his voice, and spreading through the album intense and heartfelt emotion that gives The Used
something that other bands vastly lack. Also showing their greatness are the backup vocalists. They give the songs more depth and help in creating the powerful and beautiful atmosphere of the album.
Musically this album is flawless. The most impressive characteristic of this album is the ability to elevate the general sound and be solid all around without there being a clear better instrument. This isn’t one of those albums where the drums just have basic beats and the guitar carries the music on its back. The album is perfect team work from all the sides, creating strong walls of music that drowns the listener to the point where one can’t help but enjoy it. A good comparison for this great collective musicianship is the band Thrice. Thrice is a band that has a PhD in making great collective music like the one found in their song Paper Tigers (and also in many others).
The same way the album has changes in its tempo, it has changes in its lyrics and its atmosphere. The first half of the album follows the line of angst and frustration. Escalating from song to song until its peak in Poetic Tragedy
where one finds a consideration to suicide. After that, the album takes a turn into a “happier” place. The atmosphere and lyrics start turning brighter, moving to a line of hope and, towards the end, satisfaction. It even includes a marriage proposal in the song Pieces Mended
. Someone that knows about Bert McCracken’s life can see the reflection of it in the lyrics.
debut into the music society was a successful one. This is hopefully the first in a long line of excellent albums. The Used has the talent to make that a reality, and if this album is a foreshadow of things to come I just can’t wait to see what the future holds for the band.
Buried Myself Alive
A Box Full of Sharp Objects
Say Days Ago