The Used – The Ocean of the Sky (EP) ★★☆☆☆

ArtThe Used are a band that are hard to figure out. Seemingly staying the same amount of famous their entire career, things haven’t been amazing for The Used lately. Their politically charged someone’s-mad-at-the-government release ‘The Ocean of the Sky’ teamed with lots of recent pics of singer Bert McCracken in ‘Pussy Riot’ balaclavas spells out a weird new chapter for Bert & co.

That being said, the 5 track EP is somwhat hard on the ears. Whilst it still encompasses the same raw spirit as previous releases, something about it just isn’t…good.

First track ‘Iddy Biddy’ is discordant, yet still listenable. Bert’s voice is not on top form, but the eerie million-tracked-vocals and clattering drums and guitars provide a distraction.

‘Quixotica’ shows The Used back on top form with a sweet riff, but again, Bert can’t fucking sing.

3rd track ‘Thought Criminal’ fills the gap where a signature The Used soft ballad should be perfectly, showing off Bert’s wide vocal range and softness. Opening with poetry (similar to that of ‘I’m A Fake’), and gliding through chiming cymbals and keys; it’s nice. Heartfelt lyric ;”turns out I don’t know anything” rings bells of ‘On My Own’, the kind of emotion we’re used to seeing from the mind of McCracken.

Title track ‘The Ocean of the Sky’ is a bone rattling drum beat, distorted riffs, and sounds reminiscent of 2007 album ‘Lies for the Liars’.

Final track ‘Tethys’ is a 20 minute instrumental. Don’t bother. Instruments suck in rock EP’s. I mean, 5 tracks and 1 of them is an instrumental? Time-waster!

Every Used release has a theme. From the anger and jealousy of ‘Lies for the Liar’s to the re-newed spirit of ‘Artwork’ and the pain and love of ‘In Love And Death’, this EP is about rebirth of a band, of a sound, and new thoughts. A lot of them about politics apparently.

Any Used fan will still pick up a copy for old times sake, but we hope this isn’t the best the boys have to offer in future.


Watch the video for ‘Iddy Biddy’ below