The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Blood Brothers, New Transit Direction

Homeless and drug-addled, the members of the Used are not the stuff Mormons are typically made of. Their home base in Orem, Utah, hasn't deterred them from unleashing an onslaught of rock on the world, replete with the requisite blood and vomit. The live show -- one that would make Sabbath-era Ozzy proud -- didn't earn the Used many return gigs in the land of Joseph Smith. But out in non-Mormon world, the band's take on addiction, loss and friends -- coupled with its heavy, emotional lyrics and alternative rock sound reminiscent of early Incubus -- has propelled it to the head of the class. Bert McCracken's scream punctuates most of the songs, and he freely admits it makes him puke, sometimes on fans. That's giving it your all.
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Ray Hafner