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The Used - The Canyon

The Used
The Canyon
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 12 January 2018, 3:04 PM

In our modern day, there are many Rock genres that we can become confused with some band’s works. Some of them play in a way that you feel that these bands efforts are done just to sell music. It’s not lack of talent or something in this way, but ultimately is something that will sound like many others, or that seems empty of meaning. The North American quartet THE USED can be a success for many, but on “The Canyon”, they show that something is missing.

It’s like a strange mix between influences from alternative bands as SONIC YOUTH with some melodic Hardcore elements and melodic Pop Rock bands as MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE and others from the same genre. Obviously they have some aggressive moments, but their target is the young public that loves that mix of accessible melodies with some hard tunes. In this point, it’s all ok, but their work seems like those that take advantage from trends on music. It is created strategically to be accessible, something that put the band to play in a way that isn’t spontaneous.

For all those who love to check the technical people who worked on an album, the name of Ross Robinson (who worked previously with KORN, SLIPKNOT, LIMP BIZKIT. MACHINE HEAD, THE CURE, SEPULTURA, and many others) is a guarantee of a great work on the production. And his work is perfect: he gave the band the sound clarity that the album demanded, but with those pungent and nasty moments that the youth fans love.

Other great mistake: Why 17 songs on a studio album? It can be a boring experience, and it can exhaust the patience of many listeners. But songs as the harsh feeling of “Cold War Telescreen”, the easy melodies with some bits of dirtiness of “Rise Up Lights”, the accessible harmonies of “Vertigo Cave” and on the introspective “Pretty Picture”, the sweet and melodic feeling that permeates “Upper Falls” (that shows good work on acoustic instruments) and “The Divine Absence (This is Water)” (this one with electric instruments, but the melodies on guitars and vocals are very good indeed), the very good Pop Rock elements shown on “Over and Over Again”, the introspective charm of “The Quiet War”, and the Pop harmonies on “About You (No Songs Left to Sing)” can be named as their best moments.

There are too many songs that seem like ballads, and they are really very good when tried to be a Melodic Pop Rock band. So I think they must go into this way, because their aggressive parts seem something forced to them, and this is a problem related with the production. For now, “The Canyon” is a good album.

Originality: 7
Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. For You
2. Cold War Telescreen
3. Broken Windows
4. Rise Up Lights
5. Vertigo Cave
6. Pretty Picture
7. Funeral Post
8. Upper Falls
9. The Divine Absence (This is Water)
10. Selfies in Aleppo
11. Moving the Mountain (Odysseus Surrenders)
12. Over and Over Again
13. The Quiet War
14. Moon-Dream
15. The Nexus
16. About You (No Songs Left to Sing)
17. The Mouth of the Canyon
Lineup:
Rob McCracken - Vocals, solina strings on “The Quiet War”, piano on “Upper Falls” and “Over and Over Again”
Justin Shekoski - Guitar, backing vocals, banjo, Hammond B-3, harmonica, piano arrangement, programming, solina strings
Jeph Howard - Bass
Dan Whitesides - Drums
Record Label: Hopeless Records
     


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