When you listen to a band that have been around for 12 years, you either expect them to be as good as you remember them to be back in the day or they end up catapulting down an inevitable slippery slope where they crash at the end and need to call it a day. Sadly for The Used, the latter is what they’re currently facing with new EP (and a bloody long one at that) ‘The Ocean Of The Sky.’
I’ll give the EP some credit, because the opening riff of ‘Iddy Biddy’ clutches at the possibility that ‘The Ocean Of The Sky’ is going to be an alright listen, and to be honest the track could potentially slip into the “Guilty Pleasures” collection with an ever-so-slightly infectious melody in the chorus. Similarly, the EP progresses to ‘Quixotica,’ which has some good riffs behind it, keeping up the energy that introduces the record.
It’s the back end of ‘The Ocean Of The Sky’ which welcomes the anti-climax, beginning with ‘Thought Criminal.’ Spoken vocals that pop up in various sections of the track let it down somewhat; but the worst is yet to come; with the final two tracks totalling to just less than 30 minutes in length (you read that right) The Used have really gone to town with making this EP a chore to listen to. Title track ‘The Ocean Of The Sky’ begins to grasp at some hope and should have finished 3 and a half minutes in. Yet instead it appears that the band forgot to press stop on the recording and talk for the rest of the track; and not about anything particularly riveting. Words fail me when the 20 minute long instrumental finale makes an appearance, which really is draining; great for a film soundtrack, not so great stuck on the end of an EP.
The Used has had their successes in the past, but unfortunately this isn’t one of them. Unless there’s some deep meaning behind it all that I clearly have delved into then sadly I couldn’t retrieve much worth listening to. The band claim that ‘The Ocean Of The Sky’ could possibly save the world, I’m not so convinced.
‘The Ocean Of The Sky’ by The Used is out now via Anger Music Group/Hopeless Records.
Words by Hannah Gillicker (@HannahGillicker)