The Used Album reviews.
Release Date: 06.25.2002
Record label: Warner Brothers Records
by: jon baran
I love used record shops, as I'm sure any true music aficionado does. The music that one person never could quite understand or appreciate is given a new home to someone who will cherish and nurture the sound the way it deserves. The aptly named Used also seem to be fans of the used record shop, collecting and exploring sounds that other bands don't quite seem to understand. The Used rose to fame on the backs of the Warped Tour and Ozzfest, and it sounds as if the band is trying to span the extremes of both tours on this disc. Some of the songs on the CD are hard and ferocious enough to make even the saddest emo boy take off his argyle sweater long enough to kick some ass in the pit, while other songs have enough acoustic guitars, string sections, and woe is me lyrics to drive Slipknot into tears.
A more jaded music fan might accuse The Used of piecing together all the most popular parts of punk and metal into one record selling machine, but the problem with that argument is that while the Used may make a run at just about every style of music available on Warped or Ozzfest, the Used do it better than most of their musical peers ever did. Alternating between tender and harsh, this is the record most emo-punk bands strive for but hardly ever accomplish, and it sounds like what might happen if Andrew W.K. and Chris Carrabba ever joined song writing forces. The first song, "Maybe Memories", sets the stage for the roller coaster emotional ride the listener is about to embark on. The song opens with metal-hard guitars and drums and impossible to understand screamed lyrics, slows down to allow a stream of acoustic guitars and lyrics about butterflies, then picks back up in time to kick your ass on your way out the door. The rest of the album follows in this pattern of lulling you into a false sense of security by crying into your lap and then beating the living crap out of you.
While this album hits a lot of the marks that other similar bands miss, The Used are far from perfect. Often the band falls to overly simple and clichéd lyrics like "knowing nothing is better than knowing at all" from "On My Own". Luckily whenever the band begins to hit too many emo clichés they manage to pull away quite quickly, such is the song "Buried Myself Alive" which starts out sounding like a typical angst ridden lament on love lost, but then proclaims that "It's OK I puked the day away". Thus is the nature of the Used, they are able to take pieces from any other ambiguous modern punk band and put a decidedly unique spin on it all, and it is incredibly refreshing to hear innovation within one of the most stale and clichéd modern music scenes. While sometimes the change in style from song to song gives the album a general lack of cohesiveness or structure, all is forgiven when you take a look around the mosh pit and see yourself and ten other metal heads with tears rolling down their eyes. 04-Sep-2003 5:25 PM