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September 20, 2017


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The Used
In Love and Death (Reprise Records)

By: Mike SOS

The sophomore effort from The Used further distances the Utah quartet from the rest of the emo rock pack, thanks to the vocal gymnastics of Bert McCracken as well as some excellent production work. In Love and Death finds the band sounding like a towering giant on tracks like "I Caught Fire", while more tender moments are beautifully captured on tracks like "All That I've Got". Armed with a humungous sounding section and a dense guitar tone, McCracken's trademark shrieks and wails sound that much more imminent. Even though some can argue that telling the difference between The Used and many other punk bands that combine the metal's impact with emo's lush undertones (AFI, Coheed and Cambria) impossible, tracks like "Take It Away" and "Listening" show signs of distinction no band in the pack have shown thus far, while "I'm A Fake", containing a spoken word intro that whips into a frenzied punk rock anthem, makes for not only a proper closer, but the album's most daring track.
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