The Used

A few years back, the Used's Bert McCracken and My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way were the enfants terribles of the '00s post-emo/post-whatever world. The duo shared a serious dark streak and a fuck-it-all attitude, seemingly inhaling substances by the gallon and sharing a kind of symbiotic man-bond that defied definition. But three years ago, Way went sober. And while McCracken seems to have cleaned up his act, he's still riding a gonzo edge that gives his band's songs of naked desire a thrillingly precarious feel.

Like their erstwhile pals from MCR, McCracken and company, even in their early, rawest heart-bleeding stages, always displayed a deft grasp of showmanship and a knack for addictively dramatic hooks — enough to land the group's 2004 sophomore effort, In Love and Death, at number six on the Billboard charts at its peak. The follow-up, Lies for the Liars, didn't drop until earlier this year — but it was worth the wait. Steeped throughout in an almost glammy melodrama, it's a slick trip from yelling punky rock to balladry to even spaced-out proggy moments full of trippy guest diva vocals. The best moments come, as expected, in the form of gut-busting anthems of hurt and revenge. But the biggest hallmark of Lies for the Liars is its impressive production, a whip-smart, intricate smashdown of track upon track of tiny sound details. It will be interesting to see how the band translates this live for the kind of communal sing-along its audience craves.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Arielle Castillo
Contact: Arielle Castillo