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Used, The: The Used

Bert McCracken, singer for the new power punk/pop-slash-hardcore band The Used, likes to scream on stage, get in people’s faces and push himself into such a frenzy that he often pukes. "Maybe Memories," the leadoff track from the band’s self-titled debut on Reprise Records, is an aural snapshot of McCracken’s drug-addled days; panhandling used to be the only way these guys could eat; and they’re essentially treated like lepers in their home town of Orem, Utah — home to one of most devout and conservative concentration of Mormons in the United States. No wonder this music — which moves from radio-friendly bouncing to grinding that grates — sounds so genuine. It also, quite frankly, is bound to divide listeners because it doesn’t fall into any neatly slotted genre.

That said, McCracken’s slightly nasally voice complements the alternately aggressive and pleasant guitar tones of Quinn Allman, while the rhythm section of bassist Jeph Howard and drummer Branden Steineckert segues effortlessly between pop and emo-hardcore. While many of these songs boast distinct melodies that are worth spinning several times, McCracken screams a tad too often throughout this album. Granted, he’s probably trying to express the emotions conveyed in the band’s lyrics. But his roars sound out of place on a track like the single "The Taste of Ink," a rare song of celebration on an angry and muscular album. Next time, The Used would be better off finishing the sound they’ve forged here and leave making less intelligent music to their major-label peers.

Added: November 27th 2002
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: The Used Official Web Site
Hits: 2853
Language: english

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