Hard core rockers, The Used, celebrate 15 year anniversary with new album
By Elizabeth Casella
Fifteen years ago, in Orem, Utah, the American rock band “The Used” was formed. The group signed to Reprise Records and rose to fame in 2002 after releasing their self-titled debut album. Since then they have released five additional albums to make their latest album, “Live and Acoustic at the Palace,” their seventh. This album is their fifteen year anniversary tribute album, that has brought back all of the bands biggest hits in a live set recording, released on April 1.
The lead track on the album “Tunnel” begins on a bum note and leaves listeners wondering if the album will be worth listening to or not. The backup singers fail to impress. The crowd sings in tune with the band, while the backup singers remain off tune and unenthused throughout the album. It is a disappointment to hear. For fans not used to listening to live recordings, they might be deterred from listening to more. Also with live recordings the obvious sound issues can occur as well with the sound cutting in and out or the crowd over powering the band’s singing.
The album does certainly have its highlights though such as in the song “The Taste of Ink.” This track speaks volumes to the continual and enduring success of the band that insisted from the beginning to be known for ‘raising a middle finger to injustice’ through their music with lyrics like, “So here I am, it’s in my hands, and I’ll savor every moment of this. So here I am alive at last, and I’ll savor every moment of this.”
The track “All That I’ve Got” displays in a haunting way the vocal versatility of lead vocalist Bert McCracken. Other members, guitarist Justin Shekoski, bassist Jepha, and Dan Whitesides on drums, all display their talents on different tracks of the album. Right down to the last note of the song, listeners can hear the passion and the tracks dedication to the band’s emotional whirlwind career. These emotions were captured nicely on The Used second album, “In Love and Death.”
This album offers not only a live, but an acoustic set twist that the band has not experimented with before. It offers a different sound to the classic fan favorite songs such as “Imagine,” “Yesterday’s Feelings” and “Overdose,” that seemed to even shock the band slightly, which was shown through the stage banter and overall vocal impressions. Heavy hits such as “Paralyzed” and “Lunacy Fringe” demonstrate the acoustic brand of chaos the band has and are portrayed just as well as their original recordings.
Sorrowful hits, “All that I’ve Got” and “Blue and Yellow” shine among the twelve-track line up. “Please just give me, hit me. Knock me out and let me go back to sleep, I can laugh all I want inside, I still am empty. So deep that it didn’t even bleedin’ catch me,” lyrics from “All that I’ve Got” display the true emotional meanings behind these songs.
The tracks also portray the range of acoustic sets beautifully in the live environment and that bring tear-jerking emotion forth from listeners and the crowd as screams are evoked throughout the song from the crowd.
The bands hardcore followers will certainly be pleased by the band’s 15th anniversary gift, but the newer converts of the band may be left confused from the album’s tone. The album is certainly okay to say the least, but is in no way an impressive spectacle or overly exciting piece of work.