Sound — 9
The Used continues to impress with its 3rd album Lies For The Liars, thanks to the wide range of styles and instrumentation used. Probably the best indication that the band has something to offer is that multiple songs on the record are immediately appealing. When you combine that with the fact that you hear everything from deep baritone chants to funky synth samples, you've got yourself a pretty interesting record. Too many bands these days churn out songs that feel like repeats of everything before it, but The Used never fall into that trap. The opening track The Ripper offers an energetic introduction to the record by wisely breaking up into multiple sections. While it does start out a bit like your average song, it quickly veers every which way. The best moments come when the band decides to slow down the tempo abruptly, while adding in some nice echoing effects on Bert McCracken's vocals. Then they start to layer that with some subtle, but effective synthesizer work. The song doesn't represent the band's most creative track on the record, but it does have some unique moments. Paralyzed contains an intro guitar line that is probably one of the catchiest on the record. It doesn't look like this song is set to be released as a single, but it's one of the songs that immediately grabs the listener just with a single grooving guitar riff. While there isn't much going on in the verses, the chorus is still likeable enough to make it one of the best tracks on the CD. On top of that, the big finale includes a horn section that seems to come out of nowhere, making it a pretty interesting addition to the song. What's most appealing about the record is that the band draws on different sounds and instruments. Rather than just delivering the sound of a 4-piece, The Used goes above and beyond. The single The Bird And The Worm is a great example, with the use of ominous chants and what sounds like a string section. Vocally McCracken is also at his very best and it gives the song an epic sound. If the band can recreate the song onstage even slightly, more power to them.
Lyrics — 8
One of the most entertaining songs lyrically is the single Liar, Liar (Burn In Hell). Drawing on the commonly heard children's rhyme, the band has given the song a more mature twist. McCracken sings, Liar, liar, house of fire; And the glass tastes nasty chewing fat about; Your dummy hurts you, you motherf*%er; No they never loved you. It's always interesting to hear a modern twist on household sayings, even if it is has a bitter touch to it. While not every song is as clever as Liar, Liar (Burn In Hell), there are amusing lyrics tossed in frequently. In The Ripper McCracken sings, Time Kills, Go ask Jesus; I'm done, makes no difference; Stare straight, stare at the sun; I'm done, makes no difference. The band does make an effort to write lines that haven't been heard before, and that makes for a fun listen.
Overall Impression — 9
The Used apparently had more than enough material for one album, so expect some bonus versions coming out soon. While bonus songs weren't available at the time of this review, the songs chosen for Lies For The Liars should more than satisfy the band's fans. There is rarely a dull moment, even when the band performs ballads like Find A Way. It may be a bit too soft for some out there, but there is some incredible vocal range on it. If you have heard any of Claudio Sanchez's solo work as The Prize Fighter Inferno, then you'll likely hear some vocal similarities on Find A Way. The synth effects are used often on The Used, which may annoy some out there. But the band uses them in a way that enhances the song, and the additional sounds rarely overpower the tracks. For those who are less than fond of the screamo element of music, the band also wisely chooses to use the screaming in appropriate parts. All in all, The Used's latest record proves that they aren't afraid to try out something new. And one more word of note: If you patiently wait a few minutes after the end of the last track, you'll be treated to some hip-hop flavor.