"The Used" (Reprise; 2002)

Reviewed by Dominic Pierce-Toogood

The Used refuse to pigeon-holed. Having participated in punk and heavy rock festivals this summer, their sound is certainly unique. Partly recorded in London, at times some that British "coolness" shines through here but the most prominent feature is Bert McCracken's vocals that range from full out scream to the most sensitive rounded verse. The lyrics are spiky and simplistic but drop wonderfully between big guitars and banging drums, (some piano and strings are thrown in to end a number of songs to good effect). 

Coming from a background of drug addiction and rebellion, this Utah foursome have really got their collective act together and shine very brightly here, throwing themselves into every song. "The Taste of Ink" is the high point with its almost acoustic opening growing to a crescendo of crunching guitars and Bert's screeching. The single "A Box Full of Sharp Objects" is The Used rocking out hard and heavy while they show their softer side on "Blue and Yellow" and especially the excellent "On My Own."

With an upbringing like theirs there is surely more material ready to be penned ... I for one can't wait to hear it.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Sep 2023 15:33:15 -0400.