The Used - Shallow Believer
Release Date: February 19th, 2008
Record Label: Reprise Records
When info first surfaced about The Used's latest album Lies for the Liars, it was also mentioned that the band would release an additional EP later on containing the b-sides from that album. Now, a year later, Shallow Believer has hit iTunes. It's a 10 song EP with not only b-sides from Lies for the Liars but some from their previous releases as well.
Shallow Believer starts off with "Dark Days," a track first introduced as a b-side to "The Bird and The Worm," the lead single from Liars. It's one of their slower songs and despite it being a b-side, it could have definitely fit in with the album replacing "Find a Way." Fun fact: If you listen closely to the beginning, you can hear the same intro that is present in "Cut Up Angels," track 5 from the band's 2004 release In Love and Death.
Next up comes "Slit Your Own Throat" (the track where the EP gets its name from) and judging by the title, you can probably correctly assume that this isn't going to be a cute "I love you" song. Lyrically, it's one of The Used's most violent songs, as vocalist Bert McCracken begins with the ridiculous lines: "I gotta take this moment just to put you down. Spin you around with the foot on the back of your neck, up on the curb with the pressure on your teeth." Not only that, McCracken repeatedly screams "Go slit your own throat" throughout the song. The lyrics on Lies For The Liars had plenty of cringe worthy moments (See: chorus of "Liar, Liar") and the b-sides aren't any different. The second bonus track to "The Bird and The Worm" single is "Devil Beside You," which is also track three on Shallow Believer. It's not as musically or vocally aggressive as their songs normally are, but it's one of my favorite Used songs to date and probably their poppiest and catchiest material since In Love and Death (think "I Caught Fire" catchy).
Three of the songs that make up Shallow Believer may be pretty familiar to fans of The Used, as "The Back of Your Mouth," "Into My Web," and "Choke Me" were all released as b-sides on the band's earlier records. Even though two songs ("Sun Comes Up" and "Sick Hearts") are completely exclusive for this EP, I would have liked to see the inclusion of "Pain" take the place of one of the older b-sides, especially since this release is supposed to be all about the b-sides from Liars.
The Used is one of those bands where their b-sides are better than the majority of the material that make the album. Overall, fans of them should be quite pleased with Shallow Believer, as it is a nice official release to keep them busy until The Used release their next studio album.
good review. never sure what i think of the used - i was a big fan a few years ago but i've lost interest in them more recently..i'll give this a listen though. the review was pretty balanced, good job :)
Damn, I must be the only person in the world who didn't totally hate the song "Earthquakes", although "Find A Way" is just lame...and I gotta say I appreciated the drumming on Lies For The Liars as well. I'll probably give this a listen later on in the week.
I really like theUsed and I think this EP is pretty good, but I miss the screaming hardness of their original album. It seems as though Bert is slowly moving into the realm of a regular singer. Don't get me wrong I like when he sings (I Caught Fire was amazing) but i originally got into theUsed for songs like Maybe Memories. I hope they can re-balance the screaming/singing for their next album.
one must fact that over the years certain habits people do can really take a toll on there voice, and even so, any screamer/singer is more suseptable to vocal injury than any other. So though some might say he's going more into mainstream singer category, you ha ve to think if he may be just looking out for his voice and making sure he is still able to be a performer.. Overall, I just enjoy listen to a variety of their songs, from all of them albums, i like "the bird and the Worm" becuase of the oddity of the song and others for the melody.. overall they seem pretty versatile in what they play and it's more of a plus than a hinderance. They reach out to more people and overall get their voice heard.
(sorry i wrote so much)