hey thought this would be the rock and roll of the future. Some actually still do, we’ll get to them later. It already happened once though, and soon after that MTV wasn’t exotic anymore. Meanwhile in Australia, prog tribute bands started wearing black t-shirts w/ Numan-iser zips but went on playing the exact same music! Unfortunately this ain’t 90125 or Abacab or Security, nevermind Hot Space. (Maybe if P. Gabriel had produced A Kind of Magic and deleted “One Vision”.) “Saviours of the universe”? Heavyoid royaloid android wimpoid void.
Muse is one of those odd bands in that far more actively hate them than are indifferent, and yet few actually love them. Like, say, Jethro Dull. Hint to unsuccessful artists – stop telling yourselves that you’re not famous because “people either love or hate your stuff.” Anyone who says they ‘hate’ or ‘love’ your stuff is just trying to make you stop talking about your stuff. People who really ‘love’ specific musical pieces (a weird concept but just go with it for now) name their aborted kid after the bassist and scrawl song lyrics on the sandwich bag it’s buried in. Can you imagine Muse fans doing that? Can you imagine ‘Muse fans’, period? Maybe Tool or Smashing Pumpkins fan might like this, if they found APC and Zwan offensively frivolous for their tastes. On the other hand, Muse fans probably don’t like anything. They probably find Tool and Smashing Pumpkins “oppressive” and Sparks “unpleasant” and Travis “obtrusive”. Radiohead, heroes to most, never meant shit to me, etc., but Radiohead/Muse = Queen/Supertramp. Although track 12 of Absolution copies “Everything in Its Right Place” so blatantly, it was probably to encourage the Muse fans out from their rooms for the first time in years. So they can go down to the Software Shack and pick up a copy of Sound & Sound before going straight home again to record more ambient emo. Their stuff probably sounds like Muse, except without the guitars because they can’t afford the PainReliever Compressor yet (Muse fans have more sensitive ears than most), and without the singing because they’re too introverted to take the voice lessons they know they need to make quality product. They probably also write the same way Muse write which is the same way Metallica write, i.e. just compiling bits of ‘music’ then sticking them together, except they’re more impressed with their fragments (though they’re simpler and duller and even more remarkably similar to each other than Metallica’s), so they make them go on longer and repeat them more times. (Lars Ulrich is like Clyde Stubblefield in comparison with Muse, however.) Sometimes Muse fans (again, if they exist) go to see Muse live because they heard the shows were dynamite with laser beams, guaranteed to blow your mind. They took sunglasses. And some sunblock, too. Just to be safe.
Hey, I’m trying to do them a favour! No more Queen comparisons after this review. Queen had titles like “Ogre Battle” and “The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Seven Seas of PCP” and “I’m in Love With My Car”, not to mention Brian May. Muse has titles like “Sing for Absolution” and “Butterflies and Hurricanes” (begins fashionably w/ ‘angular’ guitar before turning into the same old shit) and “Falling Away With You” and “Endlessly” (you wonder why Coldplay gets those Dave Matthews/Matchbox 20 comparisons!) and “Apocalypse Please” (admittedly genius title encapsulating all post-‘No Logo’ post-R’h**d little-England folk-prog). Best of all, the ‘possible hit single’ (which as urine-samples go is the last pale droplets landing on the seat from “Plug In”’s pink paper kidney) is entitled “Thoughts of a Dying Atheist”. Anybody specific in mind? Matt Mercury didn’t put a shotgun to Jill Dando’s head and pull the trigger now she’s dead, he just beat off over the Radio Times cover. (The 2.0 points are for the bits that sound ‘European-flavoured’. As in Malcolm McClaren’s ‘jazz’. Not ‘Jazz’. Wall of guitars, nude chicks on bikes, you know the one.)
Reviewed by: Dave Queen
Reviewed on: 2003-10-09