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Album Review

Focus on the artwork, as the Used are telling you via the title of their fourth album. It's an ugly beast of a picture of a man shoving a syringe labeled "ART" into an arm bearing "WORK" scrawled in blood on it. What it all means is unclear — is art being injected into work, is art the drug — but what is evident is that the Used still take all this emotional bloodletting very, very seriously indeed. Four albums in, they're also taking the business of being in a band very seriously too, demonstrating a greater command of dynamics and a certain measure of professional panache, something adolescent, an adenoidal rush of their early screamo. This, of course, isn't quite the same thing as a considerable uptick in songcraft, but hooks never mattered to the Used anyway, so having a higher grade of execution helps underscore the Used's point.

Biography

Formed: 2001 in Orem, UT

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The members of the Used had to overcome poverty, homelessness, and substance abuse, not to mention the straitlaced attitudes of their hometown of Orem, Utah, to bring their screamo-tinged brand of post-hardcore to life. But they persevered and earned a contract with Reprise Records, releasing their self-titled debut album in June 2002. Having only played a handful of shows around Orem prior to their record's release, the band — vocalist Bert McCracken, guitarist Quinn Allman, bassist Jeph Howard,...
Full Bio
Artwork, The Used
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  • $10.99
  • Genres: Alternative, Music, Rock, Hard Rock, Punk
  • Released: 10 August 2009

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Contemporaries