I’ve been so excited with all of the great new releases lately. For once, I had a post-it note above my bed that had a huge list of release dates on it – Madonna, The Mars Volta, All-American Rejects, and The Used. And out of that spectacular list, I’m not going to lie to you – I was most psyched on The Used’s new one. I’ve loved them for a few years now and it’s so great to hear new releases from “classic” bands like that. Great, but also nerve-wracking. I’m reminded of the last line in Fan Boys – what if this sucks?
(Also, this post is going to be cheating. I’ve already listened to Vulnerable. But I wanted to write about it here since they’re one of my favorites.)
I Come Alive kicks off the album with something that feels timeless and in true Used fashion. Bert’s vocals are better than ever and the band is on-point as a whole with this lively opener. I believe this was the first song I heard that was going to be on the new record and I was so pleased.
This Fire reminds me of something the band would’ve put out a la early 00’s. One thing I love so much about this band are the vocals. Bert’s personality is so directly proportionate to his vocals that it’s ridiculous – a bit maniacal on the edges, but strong when it needs to be. It really gives the band an edge since his vocals are so different and so easily identified.
Hands and Faces is not a favorite track of mine. It doesn’t feel as organic and I don’t like the weird effects that are used on this one.
I love the harder feel that Now That You’re Dead offers up. It reminds me a lot of the last album from The Used and I love the direction they’re heading toward. The harder sounds really suit the drumming that Dan Whitesides is able to wheel out.
Hurt No More reiterates what I’m saying about the drums in the first few seconds. The song continues at the same great pace the entire way through. Though this is a softer, quieter song than some of the others on this album, this is one of my favorites. I think this is The Used at their core. The album pumps out a lot of experimental sounds that aren’t my favorite thing, but this song brings it back around before the end.
Together Burning Bright wraps up the disc by tuning it down even further than Hurt No More. Acoustic guitars work over some slow drumming and docile bass lines as Bert’s vocals stay steady in the right lane. It’s a nice wrap-up to the album. Just close your eyes, cause we are only sparks, but together burning bright.
This doesn’t go down in history as being my favorite album from The Used – but come on, it’s hard to top some of their albums. This disc has its highs and lows, but is worth a listen. Regardless, I have it in my car and it’s a wonderful addition to my daily routine and it’s nice to have one of my favorite bands back on center stage (and headlining Warped!).
This Fire (track 2)
Together Burning Bright (track 12)
Now That You’re Dead (track 6)