“All revolutions are impossible until they happen; then they become inevitable”…this is what greets us as we press play for track one, “Revolution”. It’s an anti-political burst of energy with killer hooks and a great sing-along chorus, some of the catchiest material the band has released and it’s a bright, promising start. Lead single “Cry” delves further into the pop-infused melodic approach, allowing for a really accessible track that’s sure to go down well as a crowd pleaser at live shows.
“Generation Throwaway” is, despite its title, really quite the soft number. It’s got a huge sounding pop-anthem style, gang vocal chorus that catches you off-guard, after having expected a brash, unapologetic punk rock statement. “Make Believe” is a bit livelier but again, it’s lacking bite. A catchy song, that’s undeniable, but that’s as far as it goes. The same can be said for the title track and, well, the album as a whole in all honesty.
Whereas it’s not unheard of for The Used to utilise melody to great effect in their song writing, it’s unusual for them to produce such a unilaterally fashioned album. There are a lot of great songs on “Imaginary Enemy”, it’s an entertaining listen with some top tunes, but it just seems, innocuous. It’s probably their most accessible album to date, bar the odd pocket of mild aggression, which some long-time fans may deem disappointing, but, in a scene drowning in metalcore, it does I guess provide a more than welcome alternative. The Used have allowed the lyrical content in their songs to provide food for thought while making a really commercially friendly album. It’s clear they've stopped to take note of what’s happening around them, and they've delivered an album not only relevant in terms of topic, but they've done it stylishly too. It stands out, and on this rare occasion, for a band like The Used to make a pop album is exactly what we needed. I guess the imaginary enemy is the mainstream itself…fans of rock and metal universally see mainstream culture as plastic, with no depth or ingenuity other than for making fast money, The Used have released a record full of radio friendly tracks not to “sell out” per Se, but because they’re smart. The mainstream is only the enemy if you want it to be, you can just as easily use it to your advantage…”Force Without Violence” and all that…
"Imaginary Enemy" is available now via iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/imaginary-enemy/id804990197