The Used

Maybe Memories

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Maybe Memories is wrapped in solemn artwork, contains two full discs of audio and video material, and even includes a heartfelt thank-you from the bandmembers themselves amidst its liner notes. And while it's honorable for the Used to be so appreciative of their newfound fame that the young group would issue a collection of live material, music videos, unreleased studio tracks, and behind-the-scenes footage, the reality is that the band really only has one full-length album out. Collections like Maybe Memories used to be golden parachutes, an easy way to fulfill one's contractual duties. In an age when media consumption advances faster than the record companies can move, Memories feels more like a way for the Used to remain economically soluble while they record an eventual follow-up. After all, despite the unchecked, almost masochistic levels of soul-searching that guides vocalist Bert McCracken, and even though the Used convincingly bind that emotion to their herky-jerky alternative metal, the Used haven't distinguished their music enough from their contemporaries to make Maybe Memories work for anyone other than their most rabid fans. However, if you are said fan, this record is for you. Besides the aforementioned live material (which fades annoyingly between each track), highlights include McCracken's gothic take at the ivories ("Sometimes I Just Go for It"), as well as "Zero Mechanism," an early home recording that actually sounds better than some of the debut, since its vitality isn't choked by the sheen of professional production.

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