The Used: Imaginary Enemy Review

A misstep in democratic anarchy


The Used are a band who defined the dark, emotional punk rock push in the early decade remarkably – Finding themselves in issues such as drugs, heartbreak, and numbness which catered to the emo subculture running rampant at the time. The group delivered a tenacious, matured comeback with 2012’s Vulnerable, however the album received mixed critical response. Now, that’s the past; the cherished post rock knights are back in regard on their second self released record Imaginary Enemy.

Imaginary Enemy has a blindfolded thirst for a political identity, and this is introduced on the Karl Marx shadowed, rapid prelude to the first track “Revolution.” “All revolutions are impossible ‘till they happen, then they become inevitable,” we hear through an anarchy stained radio. It’s quite odd because this political aspiration is really only predominant on this intro, “A Song To Stifle Imperial Progression (A Work In Progress)” a politically combative hymn with hushed, satirical “god bless USA” murmurs, and “Generation Throwaway” – A sappy, polished anthem on generational individuality. The rest of these songs (“El-Oh-Vee-Ee”, “Cry,” and “Evolution”) find themselves in the midst of The Used’s heart strung and often begrudging commonplace, but more gushing – The defiance of the title track “Imaginary Enemy” and “Kenna Song” is left, lending the most sunken caliber to the album as a whole. Along with inconsistency in it’s dispatch, Imaginary Enemy is radio-ready, maintaining a curiously polished anarchy throughout. The instrumentation is often sanded down to a point of automated glare, and even discordantly cybernated on “Generation Throwaway.”

Most of The Used’s newest exertion conventionally preaching democratic voice along with previously covered ground would find it’s finest revolution in the speakers of flooded Hot Topics rather than the chants of yearning, aggressive fans. It’s not that The Used failed at preaching revolution; they’re simply chanting an uprising which has already been recognized. Imaginary Enemy has it’s moments, but the tattered flag of Americana isn’t quite here to stand by it’s intended revolt.

Grade: C-

Listen to: Kenna Song

Imaginary Enemy is out via Hopeless Records now. 

Hopeless Records