Welcome to the table,
I have anxiety.
I imagine being trapped in a body that is losing functionality due to a degenerative disability and having to plan for things like “Will the store actually be accessible” or “When I get to the show will I even be able to see or will everyone standing in front of me make my view of the stage totally obscured regardless of if I paid for wildly expensive tickets.” or “Will I just not have the use of my arms and legs in the morning because my body finally gave up.”
The mental health aspect of being disabled in a world where a doctor’s appointment requires a payment plan even if you have insurance is draining. There are often days where the weight of it all feels like a massive bolder weighing you down, crushing you, impossible to move up the hill but you can’t rest, you can’t take a breath, if you do the bolder pushes you back down the mountain losing ground you have been working years to gain.
Toxic Positivity from The Used feels like the soundtrack you want on your playlist as you keep pushing that bolder up the hill.
When Bert McCracken says that “the songs that comprise Toxic Positivity are some of the most sincere he has ever written,” you can feel it. There is something so special here in these tracks and if you give it a chance I think you are going to find it cuts through the noise in a way that is unexpected, painful, refreshing, and ultimately life-affirming.
Toxic Positivity is the tenth studio album from The Used and is out this Friday, May 19 via Big Noise. In a lot of ways this feels like a concept album, but I could be projecting here. There is a real rise following the throughline of these tracks. When I got to Headspace I was crying, screaming, and dancing in my wheelchair like I was at some satyr-filled wild rumpus of a party put on by Dionysus himself and the vibes keep coming.
When I tell you that Toxic Positivity is full of bangers, I need you to understand from the bottom of my jaded, anxiety-filled, and often exhausted heart, that this album has some standouts I have been humming for days. It bangs out of control but it makes you earn it. The first few tracks start in a deep dark place that feels very in your face and bleak, almost oppressive, but if you stick with it the journey is worth it and as is the nature of playlists when you loop back to the beginning you are back at the bottom of that mountain pushing your way back up.
Photo Credit: Anthony Tran
On top of releasing this phenomenal auditory offering, The Used have announced a pop-up album release show to celebrate Toxic Positivity at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on May 20 with special guests Felicity. I don’t often get bummed about missing shows, but this one feels like it is going to be special, so if you are in the area or can catch a flight get there… I think it’s going to be one hell of a time. Doors open at 7 pm, and tickets are on sale at this link.
You can stay up to date with The Used across the social channels below.
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Until next time, this album takes you on a journey that starts at a rock-bottom low and then climbs and if you see it through to the end without putting it on shuffle or skipping tracks it gets you to a place that feels powerful and authentic and honestly a little bit transformative. I am glad to have had a chance to hear it and it will continue to get rotation in the days and months to come.
Welcome to the table, I have anxiety. I imagine being trapped in a body that is losing functionality due toCOMICONRead More