Op-Ed: In defense of the Used’s “Over And Over Again” and their ‘new’ sound
[Photo by: THEUSEDCHANNEL/YouTube]
The revolution is over. The Used are back, but not with a vengeance: “Over And Over Again” is the sound of a band reborn, and that rebirth is happening in the most fun way possible.
When we last heard from Bert McCracken and co. by way of an album, the emo legends were getting political on 2014’s Imaginary Enemy. But if this new song is anything to go by, the Used’s upcoming full-length The Canyon will see them dispel all thoughts of conflict.
Conflict, however, is always found online when a band makes a radical departure in sound, as the Utah four-piece have done with “Over And Over Again.” A quick scroll through a Twitter search of “the Used” just hours after the new track dropped revealed an irritatingly common sight: that of a band being bashed for daring to take their sound to new places. “They used to be talented.” “Pandering to the radio crowd.” “Hipster sell-outs.” “Boring, uninspired and cliché.”
Boring? Boring? Are you sure you were watching the same video as us? A catchy chorus, avant-garde visuals and a totally new direction: What about that is “boring?” Bore off, trolls. Though we should hardly be surprised at some of the flack being thrown the way of the Used, as it’s becoming frustratingly routine for a band in our scene to change its sound, only to be chastised for doing so. Suicide Silence recently found themselves faced with a petition calling for them to not release their album, such was the anger of some fans at the band’s new direction. Bring Me The Horizon, My Chemical Romance and Paramore have faced similar levels of criticism over the years for their sonic development.
As a scene, we shouldn’t be so narrow-minded to our bands growing and changing. This resistance to change only serves to box us in, shunting ourselves even further from the mainstream than we already are.
Imaginary Enemy was a good enough album, but it saw the Used occupying the same sonic space they have throughout their career. “Over And Over Again” does away with any preconceptions you had about the band, and isn’t that exactly what we want from a group 16 years into their career? Stagnation is neither good for the artist or the fan. The point of art is to challenge our view of the world, to make us think more deeply and drag us out of the mundanity of everyday life. And there’s no denying that this new version of the Used is teaming with vibrancy, challenging the limits of what rock music can supposedly do.
“On these four legs I stand proud/It’s the only way I know how to give,” McCracken sings as “Over And Over Again” draws to a close.
And stand proud you should, the Used. The unashamed brashness and vivacity of “Over And Over Again” is everything that’s great about alternative music.
What do you think of the Used's new song?