Scrolling through Spotify’s ‘New Releases’ section, I came across the album “Heartwork” by The Used. With skeletons surrounded by vines, a heart and accents of red, I was intrigued and decided to give the album a listen. Without having any prior knowledge on the band, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but when I listened to the first few tracks, I was brought back to my ‘emo’ middle school phase.
Based out of Orem, Utah, The Used formed in 2001 and released their first self-titled album the following year. The band consists of four members, vocalist Bert McCracken, drummer Dan Whitesides, bass player Jeph Howard and guitarist Joey Bradford. Like other pop punk bands, their tracks mainly consist of screaming, singing and numerous tempo changes.
Hitting shuffle, the first song that played was “To Feel Something.” The track opened up with repetitive notes and plucks from a guitar, setting a calm tone. McCracken’s voice peacefully comes in and blends with the soft guitar plucks, however, the energy intensifies into the chorus. He screams, “I just want to feel something, anything’s better than this,” explaining his emotions from a heartbreak. The contrast of energy makes for a well-put-together song.
My favorite track on the album would have to be “Gravity’s Rainbow” due to the wide variety of instruments that were used. From orchestral string instruments, an electric guitar, loud drums and even soft claps, the band is able to craft a song that sounds like it belongs in an action movie scene. Like other tracks on the album, the mixture of peacefulness and intensity is prominent, but the high energy can’t be ignored from the beginning of the song to the end.
I wish I had known about the band in middle school, as I enjoyed listening to screamo and post-hardcore music back then. However, I do still listen to that type of music on occasion, so I will for sure add tracks from “Heartwork” into my emo playlist.
With electronic sounds in several tracks, The Used is able to bring aspects of modern music into their own songs for anybody to listen to. If you want to stray away from your normal rotation of music, give a listen to “Heartwork.” The Used’s music is also good to listen to while working out or if you’re going on a run due to their intensity.