Sunday, May 20, 2007

Album Review - The Used

Artist - The Used
Album - Lies for the Liars

It's been three years since the last record by the Used, and with Lies for the Liars, it's not hard to see that changes were made. The first and most noticeable change is the absence of drummer and founding member Branden Steineckert. His hard-hitting, chaotic style of drumming has been replaced with an amicable-but-nothing-exciting studio drummer. I always thought that the sound of the Used was defined by their drummer, and now it's plain to see that I was right. Add that to a collection of songs that doesn't quite sound like a full record but more or a forced effort, and you have Lies for the Liars.

Now don't get me wrong, when the record shines, it's bright as hell. The lead single "The Bird and the Worm" is one of the best and most interesting songs the band has ever released. The record has its rockin' moments, especially with the opener "The Ripper" and the greatest song Papa Roach never wrote, "Pretty Handsome Awkward". Those who liked the screamo-anger of the first record will be mildly disappointed, as the screams are held back to only a couple of tracks, and even then its presence is barely felt. Lies has the all-over-the-map feel of the The Used with the song structure and sound effects of In Love and Death.

The record really takes off on track 4, "Earthquake", which sounds like another song dedicated to Bert's late girlfriend Kate. "Find a Way" is another slower ballad in the same vein as "All That I've Got" from In Love and Death, and this record has a lot of the same production values and string arrangements as their previous record, which is good. I can't say it surpasses In Love and Death, but then again, Pink Floyd will never make another Dark Side of the Moon, so maybe I am asking for a little too much. Anyway, pick it up on Tuesday, you won't regret it.

7 out of 10

If you like this record, try:

The Used - In Love and Death
My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade
Senses Fail - Still Searching

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