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Music / The Used

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"Call me a traitor for changing my mind
Call me a criminal if thinking's a crime
Call me an animal, it's hard to define
I don't care what you say I came to defy."

An American rock band from Orem, Utah. Since their formation in 2001, they have released seven studio albums.

The Used are known for having a highly versatile sound that has been said to fall under many genres, tones and moods, often switching over the course of a single song. While Post-Hardcore and Alternative Rock are perhaps the best fitting, the terms "emo" and "Post-Punk" tend to get thrown into the mix, despite the band's neglect to consider themselves by those genres. Says frontman Bert McCracken, "We're a rock band. That's all we've ever been."



  • Robert "Bert" McCracken - lead vocals, piano
  • Joey Bradford - lead guitar, backing vocals (since 2018, following Justin Shekoski's tenure AND Quinn Allman's departure in 2015)
  • Jeph Howard - bass guitar, backing vocals.
  • Dan Whitesides - drums, percussion (since 2006, as a replacement for former member Branden Steineckert).

Studio Albums:

  • The Used (2002)
  • In Love and Death (2004)
  • Lies for the Liars (2007)
  • Artwork (2009)
  • Vulnerable (2012)
  • Imaginary Enemy (2014)
  • The Canyon (2017)
  • Heartwork (2020)

Other Albums:

  • Maybe Memories (2003) - compilation of live songs from their debut, demos, and unreleased material.
  • Berth (2007) - live album.
  • Shallow Believer (2008) - EP consisting of B-sides from their first three albums.
  • The Ocean of the Sky (2013) - Includes the cynical punk song "Iddy Biddy" and the fast-paced ear worm "Quixotica".

Tropes featured by The Used:

  • Album Title Drop: "Leave the lies to the liars" is repeated multiple times in "Hospital".
  • Animated Music Video: Portions of the one produced for "All That I've Got".
  • Careful with That Axe: One of their signatures.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: "Liar Liar (Burn in Hell)". Considering that it's about Pedophile Priests, it's justified.
    • Subverted in the bonus track-like thing at the end of "Force Without Violence", where Bert lists more creative, articulate things to say, including "treacherous, hideous, ridiculous phallus" and "hyper-banal intellectual syphilis".
  • Cover Version: Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure", with help from My Chemical Romance.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Everyone but Quinn.
  • Epic Rocking: "Men Are All the Same", which clocks in just under six minutes, considering the band mostly performs songs around three minutes in length.
    • Their The Ocean of the Sky EP provides greater examples in "Tethys" and the title track, which clock in at eight/twenty minutes respectively.
    • To a slightly lesser extent, a couple songs from The Canyon clock in a little over the 5-minute mark, such as "Upper Falls" and "Over and Over Again".
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  • Fanservice: The occasional make-out session between Bert and Quinn during live shows.
  • Grief Song: "Hard to Say".
  • Ho Yay: Invoked. Again, Bert and Quinn.
  • Hidden Track: A 30 second remix at the end of "Smother Me" from Lies for the Liars, preceded by two minutes of silence.
  • Last Note Nightmare: Everybody sing it with me: It's getting, it's getting, it's getting kinda hectic!
  • "Leaving the Nest" Song: "The Taste of Ink" takes the perspective of someone who recently has broken out of their old life and, with renewed energy, swears that they will make the most out of the rest of their life: "So here I am, alive at last, and I'll savor every moment of this."
  • Lighter and Softer: Despite featuring plenty of topical sociopolitical themes, Imaginary Enemy is this musically.
  • Long Title: "Paradise Lost, a Poem by John Milton".
  • Love Is a Drug: "Overdose" says this directly.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Largely avoided. They really make a point of being direct with the attitude of their songs.
    • There are several examples of the trope played straight, though, such as "The Ripper", featuring sad lyrics about how people don't live for the moment (the titular ripper being time itself) sung to a happy tune. "Cut Up Angels" is another shining example of a jaunty tune carrying lyrics about an extremely dysfunction relationship.
  • Metal Scream: Used in some of their harder tunes.
    I found a box of sharp objects, what a beautiful THING!!!!!!!
  • Mood Whiplash: "Earthquake", a softer song, is placed between the nightmare-fuel-filled "The Bird and the Worm" and fast, catchy "Hospital" on Lies for the Liars.
    • The same album has another example - the angry "Liar Liar (Burn in Hell)" is placed between the two gentlest songs on the record, "Find a Way" and "Smother Me".
  • Mr. Fanservice: Depending on who you ask, any member of the band applies.
  • Non-Appearing Title: Rarely. "Noise and Kisses" is an example.
  • Ode to Intoxication: "Sound Effects and Overdramatics" is partly about crystal meth, but is far from an ode. Bert has had troubles with addiction in his past, although he's been clean for several years now.
  • Precision F-Strike: Featured in "Hands and Faces", "The Taste of Ink", "All That I've Got" and "I'm a Fake", among others.
  • Religion Is Wrong: A subject of several of their songs, especially atheist anthem "On the Cross".
  • Religion Rant Song: And how.
  • Self-Titled Album: Their debut.
  • Shout-Out: The music video for "All That I've Got" has the band wear garb with a slight Clockwork Orange influence.
  • Take That!: Many fans insist "Pretty Handsome Awkward" is one toward Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance. All the band has said, however, was that it's about "someone with short blonde hair" (which Gerard had at the time of the song's release).
    • Finally confirmed as of July 2019 to be about Gerard Way.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Jeph in the "Pretty Handsome Awkward" music video.