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Big noises, big anthems, and an even bigger mark about to be made as The Used drop their eighth studio album, Heartwork.
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It’s very easy to find yourself falling down a rabbit hole with Heartwork, quickly realising this isn’t an album you should be picking apart, rather it’s one you will find you’ll allow yourself to be enveloped by and enjoying it for what it is.
Catastrophically good riffs that herald rage and disdain, (particularly in Blow Me, a collaborative track featuring Fever 333 vocalist Jason Aalon Butler), lyrics bereft of any sense of irony and dripping with honesty, and a gnarly dissonance in the production that gives rise to an intentional (yet refined) DIY aesthetic that could only come from the production master himself, John Feldmann.
The Used have just about blown every other release in their back catalogue out of the water to demonstrate what they are truly capable of; a band unafraid to break free of a long-held mould and come up with great results when they throw caution to the wind.
It’s time The Used were given a title recognising their position as nobility in rock—’Barons Of The Bop’ might just cover it, particularly through the reverent but shuffling track BIG WANNA BE, an anthemic number that is far from small in sound and intent as The Used dabble with off-beat funk riffs and a simple message with a colossal impact. When an album is this could, it’s time a band should receive high acclaim.
It may feel at times like The Used are throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks, but The Used try new things without sacrificing the identity they’ve spent 20 years solidifying. Take Wow, I Hate This Song–it begins with your standard The Used punk-rock but quickly turns into something that marries then and now in spectacular harmony.
Of course, the songs that really stand out on this release are the ones where The Used incorporate elements of other genres and manipulate the traditional expectations of melody–The Lottery veers into the orient, subtle bends from major to minor creating a deadly attitude, a wonderful reprieve in Darkness Bleeds, FOTF that relies heavily on the heavy lull of the mood-making piano melody.
Barons Of The Bop, indeed. The Used have just about blown every other release in their back catalogue out of the water to demonstrate what they are truly capable of; a band unafraid to break free of a long-held mould and come up with great results when they throw caution to the wind.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Paradise Lost, BIG WANNA BE, The Lottery
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Set It Off, Taking Back Sunday, Silverstein