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The Used Mixes Sour,Sweet On New Album

Of the Oakland Press

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“Lies For the Liars,” the third studio album by Utah hard rockers the Used, is a bit like an aural version of “The Sixth Sense.” You hear dead people.

They can be found in songs such as “The Ripper” and “Wake the Dead,” among others. And bassist Jeph Howard says that’s indicative of the mindset frontman Bert McCracken and guitarist Quinn Allman were in when they were working on songs for the album.

“There’s a lot of hard, heartfelt things that happened to Bert and a lot of things that happened to Quinn, too,” says Howard, 28. “You can tell there’s definitely some underlying, hidden tension inside of it. It’s pretty awesome, I think.”

But, Howard adds, “there’s also a lot of hope in this album, I want to say. It’s the most hope we’ve actually ever had on an album, so that’s pretty sweet, too.”

“Lies ...” came out in May and debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart; so far it has sold nearly 250,000 copies and has launched three singles — “The Bird and the Worm,” “Liar Liar (Burn in Hell)” and “Pretty Handsome Awkward.” It has a lot to live up to; both of its predecessors, 2002’s “The Used” and 2004’s “In Love and Death,” have been certified platinum. But Howard contends that the group knows how to duck that kind of pressure when it’s working on new material.

“It’s not about what people want us to play and want us to write,” he says. “We don’t care. We’re doing what we want and how we want and why we want to. If we were trying to write songs for other people to like, that would be fake and that would be lying.

“If nobody likes our songs, that’s all right. And I don’t mean that, like, cocky at all. I just mean that we love our music, and we’re confident about the way we write it. As long as we’re happy, that’s the most important thing.”

The Used, Army of Me and Josephine Collective perform at 8 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 15) at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $25. Call (313) 961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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