Youth music is rarely referred to as conventional, but I can’t see placing this album any other way. The Used’s fifth album Artwork is a series of genre clichés that well…actually work. I had excused myself from previous three albums by the band but their first album released (self-titled) was my introduction to scream-o (or post-hardcore). I saw them a few times live and they were great but I soon moved on from the sound. Until Now.
So here I sit with a digital copy of the album blaring from my laptop, trying desperately to transport myself to my sixteenth summer. I make a list of adjectives: brooding, brash, angst, visceral. Then the track “Watered Down” plays (the sixth) and I realize the album should not be compared to anything previous. This track showed much more maturity and a willingness to change with the times. This track was not of the previous adjectives listed. This track was absolutely fantastic and unlike anything they have done previous to now.
A few tracks later “Meant to Die” begins, a juxtaposition to the title. It is a love letter told from the after-life (after a suicide). The tracks’ storytelling abilities are fantastic. The main guitar riff is fantastic and the breakdown is terrifying.
The album’s final track, “Men Are All The Same” is going to be a staple on scream-o playlists.
Review by Bro’ B – Ben
Artwork is available at Amazon.com and other music retailers.
Check out TheUsed.com for tour information, where to buy CD’s and updates on the videos of the bands TV performances.