The Used - The Canyon album review

Utah post-hardcore crew dig deep into their psyche for album seven

Cover art for The Used - The Canyon album

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An evolution of a band’s sound is often described as risk-taking, yet the real risk comes with stagnation. So it’s heartening to find The Used sailing into unchartered waters for their seventh album.

The Canyon was produced by Ross Robinson, famed for squeezing emotion from his singers, and he’s worked his cruel magic again here. Stripped-back, grief-stricken opener For You is painfully intimate, frontman Bert McCracken barely holding back sobs. From there we get jazzy, discordant noise in Cold War Telescreen, high-octane, Refused-meets-Blood Brothers fury in Rise Up Lights and even a touch of reggae in The Divine Absence (This Is Water).

The post-hardcore foundations are here, complete with drama-fuelled, singalong choruses, but what The Used have built upon them opens up a new world of creative opportunities for them.

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.