There are certain bands and artists who you assume may struggle to evolve and develop musically. American four-piece The Used could be categorised under the dreaded term ‘emo’ for the majority of their career, with their songs such as ‘All That I’ve Got’ and ‘The Bird and the Worm,’ released in the 2000’s, the pinnacle of the ‘emo’ years.

Now in 2014, The Used have released new song ‘Cry,’ a branch off from their emo-namesake with a peppering of electronic influences showcasing their new musical direction. Opening with electronic synths and guitar tones, ‘Cry’ sees the band experimenting with sounds while incorporating the guitar-led melodies and screaming of vocalist Bert McCracken, characteristics of the Utah-based band.

McCracken’s vocals serve as the backbone to the music, the softer moments emitting a sense of vulnerability before it crescendos into something full of boldness and confidence. Showcasing his tones, which climaxes during the final chorus, ‘Cry’ transforms into a more hard-rock sound, building on from the electronic opening. This vulnerability is emphasised throughout the anthemic chorus. As McCracken croons “I’m going to let you bleed for a little bit. I’m going to make you beg just for making me cry,” it is not far off from what could have been a Rihanna song. Yet, this hook is what sets the song apart of The Used’s back catalogue.

With a range of influences, from electronic to heartache, The Used personifies maturity in the musical sense and showcases how a band can branch off from their earlier defining genre.

Niamh Moore

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