The Used

Lies For The Liars

Written by: PP on 30/05/2007 15:14:01

We all remember Bert McCracken's tendency to come across as a complete maniac both live and on record. His portrayed passion and unpredictability is what has fuelled the growth of The Used's fanbase for years now together with their ability to write fantastic screamo tracks as well as heartmelting ballads, and to be able to get away with both on the same album without seeming incoherent. They were also one of the main players in giving mainstream emo a kickstart a few years back with self-titled and "In Love And Death", so understandably expectations were both sky high and low for their third album "Lies For The Liars". Why low, I hear you ask? To me, the recent trend with big bands like The Used has been that once they are hyped, they soften up and begin to write crappy albums with one or two ok songs and rest filler. But on the other hand, Bert will always be Bert warranting for the high expectations that I personally had for this album.

And fortunately, the band delivers. I'll go on straight away to say that "Lies For The Liars" beats "In Love In Death" by leaps and bounds not only in terms of artistic maturity but also because it has far better songs on it. To be completely honest though, it did take some time to get over the initial shock, however expected it might have been, that the band has taken significant distance to their roots as a screamo-emo-pop band. Instead, songs like "The Bird And The Worm" have some Queen and Panic! At The Disco influence in them straight from the quiet pianos and sample effects to the soft - dare I say epic - verse singing, which on paper doesn't sound very promising but on disc works surprisingly well. The album opener "The Ripper" is, and I know I will get killed for saying this, the best song The Used has written to date. Yes, even better than "Maybe Memories". It sets the mood of the album immediately with a punk-ish vibe and sees Bert at his very best maniacial self. The explosive screams he presents at the end of the track are deeper than we're used to hear from him, and the chorus he puts down is probably the catchiest one they have written to date.

There are more riffs and less hooks in general, and the production desk has placed much more focus on Bert's clean singing ability this time around, wiping out the little scratched edge he had on previous albums. "Wake The Dead" is a song that leans slightly towards the older material by being semi-aggressive, but the already mentioned Panic! and Queen-ish sound is still dominant, and the same goes for the bouncy "Paralyzed", but again this does not make them bad songs at all, quite the contrary in fact.

By now you have probably noticed how little emo-moments there are left in their new sound. If you're expecting more of those cracking clean passages where Bert's voice sounds frustrated and melancholic, such as in "A Box Full Of Sharp Objects", don't expect to find any. Instead, the album is filled with epic moments where their sound isn't as confined as on "The Used" nor as spacey-melodic as on "In Love And Death", but more focused with a multitude of overtones and theatrics. "Liar Liar (Burn In Hell)" is the only track where you hear the old Used most clearly, despite its ridiculous lyrics ("liar liar, pants on fire"..), but even so old fans have nothing to fear as the band has announced plans of releasing two EP's in the near future containing the heavier tracks that were not included on this CD. But even without these "Lies For The Liars" is an impressive effort and one of the definite must-buy's of 2007. If this won't be The Used's absolute breakthrough album to become a band the size of Panic!, I don't know what will. Great album.

8

Download: The Ripper, Wake The Dead, Pretty Handsome Awkward
For the fans of: Panic! At The Disco, My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday
Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.05.2007
Reprise

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