My good friend Jo had been elbowing me about afour-piece called Used some time ago. For the record, Jo is afriend with a nose for good music. So when he deliberated on a Utah quartetbeing a “cool post hardcore/emo” band, it was not quite enough to excite meto pay immediate attention.
Several months on and it’s Used features galore. Everymagazine I pick up, every website I visit is awash with Used. Each time Icame across them and nonchalantly flipped the page, the more I came acrossthem.
Hell, I thought – just read it. It turns out that Used frontman Bert McCrackendates Kelly Osbourne. And he’s a self-confessed former meths addict in a bandwhich has been lopped into the “One of America’s hottest Acts” category. For those who are prone to musical apathy, hence notbeing clued up to such news as Used (myself included), eyebrows beg tobe raised.
Or do they? One listen to their eponymous debut brings closeencounters of the Incubus / Lostprophets kind, largely due toMcCracken’s similar sounding vocals.
Numbers such as Taste Of Ink and the singleBuried Myself Alive hail from the Linkin Park school of mosh-themicangst, while A Box Full Of Objects showcases a radio friendly clash ofmelodic hardcore, a la Glassjaw.
This is where the disappointment lies with Used.McCracken’s honest lyrics (drawing on confronting addiction on Bulimic, andheartbreak on Greener With The Scenery) are betrayed by the lack of musicaloriginality. But it is well arranged and crisply produced, withsome tight layers of samples, overdubs and strings.
They will be assured status at least by thefloor-filling pull of their album – not to mention McCracken’s relationshipwith Miss Osbourne. Perhaps they’ll be on the Ozzfest tour this year.
Classing Used in a genre would perhaps be the easything to do, so I’ll leave it to the band’s own web biography – “palpable ina spray of crashing rhythms, sublime melodies, candid lyrics, dynamic vocalsand, natch, big guitars.”
The jury’s out on that one. One can’t help thinkingit’s a palpable formula which has been used one too many times before.