(Courtesy of Hopeless Records)
The Used have just released their seventh studio album “The Canyon.” Their latest release is one of their most emotional to date. The first track sets the overall tone of disparity and darkness for the album. The first track focuses on Bert McCracken, the front man, losing a close friend to him. This album plays on emotions and experiments with their signature sound to help create a new flavor and re-vamp to their familiar post-hardcore vibe. This album takes the listener on an emotional journey through each track.
“Moving the Mountain,” one of the most distinctive tracks instrumentally, also provides a sense of diversity throughout the vocals. This track is one of the more upbeat on the album. The track vocals start off rather faint as he sings “In climbing up, I’m not surprised by where I’ve come.” The vocals pick up drastically in the chorus as his voice gets louder. Almost like a battle cry, he sings, “We’re so close my love. The push of a moment I needed to feel it.” The softness of the slower versus mixed with the raspy vocals of the chorus allow the track to hold its own as a stand -alone track. The instrumentals in the chorus remain intense which keeps the sense of authority over the track. The instrumentals are slightly reminiscent of the progressive rock genre such as The Fall of Troy.
One of the slower tracks on the album “Upper Falls” is also one of the most diverse tracks instrumental wise. His voice, along with the instrumentals are rather reserved on this track which ultimately creates a beautiful melody. The track starts off with a slow tempo as he faintly sings, “You taught me something about love that I could never learn alone.” The chorus then just barely picks up vocally as he sings, “I see a loaded gun, I can’t take anymore.” The instrumentals in the chorus become more pronounced, and the lyrics become more emotional to the listener. The hardness and softness of this track mixed together provides a unique listening experience for the audience. The last two lines of the song keep up with the disparity to the track as he sings over little background noise, “I could have been there. I miss you my friend.”
The single “Rise Up Lights” is one of the heavier songs lyrically. The lyrics really play into his emotions and the sense of darkness. The instrumentals and vocals pick right up as he faintly screams then sings, “I dream the same thing over again. The flames of afterlife.” The chorus becomes faster and heavier as he repeats, “Your razorblades, your razorblades all apologies. Your razorblades.” His vocal range transitions from fainter verses to heavier choruses to provide a more pronounced emotional connection to the chorus. The breakdown toward the end of the track is able to showcase the band’s talent and diversity on this record. By the end he is just letting out a few screams almost as a way to emphasize the pain being represented.
Overall, the emotion represented on this album translates into success. The band stuck to their familiar roots while playing with deeper lyrics ultimately to work in their favor. This album is arguably one of their best releases to date as the record is also one of the more diverse releases they have done. The album has 17 tracks, which is not to be taken lightly as they have poured their heart and soul into every song. “The Canyon” transports The Used to new heights by playing with heavier lyrics and providing a deeper connection for the listeners.