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MTV darlings the Used were discovered by Goldfinger frontman John Feldmann, who helped them get a record deal after they won him over with some early demos. On their debut album, itís easy to see what made the fledgling Utah band such an attractive commodity to a punk lifer like Feldmann: frontman Bert McCracken and guitarist Quinn Allman are a flamboyant duo, and their music is a beautiful mess of youthful pop lust and hardcore fury. McCracken is the one with the long brown hair and the drug-addled past; Allman is the one with the short blond locks and the riffs that go from dreamy to explosive at the drop of a hat. " And if you want me back/Youíre gonna have to ask nicer than that, " sneers McCracken on the hit " Buried Myself Alive, " a Deftones-inspired thrasher with a soft chewy inside. Allmanís dissonant chord stabs put the bounce in " The Taste of Ink, " and the band keep the fancy stuff to a minimum on the rampaging " A Box Full of Sharp Objects. " Producer Feldmann is the discís unsung hero, weaving a host of acoustic instruments in and out of the mix without softening the impact of one of commercial punkís most promising new outfits.

(The Used perform at Lupoís Heartbreak Hotel in Providence this Friday, April 18; call 401-272-5876. Theyíre at the State Theatre in Portland this Saturday, April 19; call 207-780-8265. And they finish their weekend at the Roxy this Sunday, April 20; call 617-338-7699.)

BY SEAN RICHARDSON

Issue Date: April 17 - 24, 2003
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