Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Flynndie Reviews - Blog #8: Muse - The Resistance

Written 28th October 2009:

Muse – The Resistance

Muse, without question the greatest live band, ever, ever, ever! (In my humble opinion of course, this is the internet after all!)

Ok, so is there anyone out there who actually doesn’t like Muse? Really? If so you’re probably not really a fan of great Indie music bands so I’m wondering why you have ended up on my Blog dedicated to ‘cool for 15 minute Indie Bands? Anyway rant over lets a have brief history lesson of Muse.

So Muse came on the scene circa 1998, and, if my maths is any good, have actually been going for just over a good decade now. I remember one of their early singles being ‘Uno’, before I was lucky enough to see them record an ‘X-Fm’ session on the day their debut album ‘Showbiz’ came out. Obviously at the time I didn’t really know much of their material at this point but came away thinking, “frigging hell these guys make a lot of noise and create a good sound for a three piece!!”

Much anticipated 2nd album ‘Origin of Symmetry’ followed this and was really when they started to get a bit more recognised and recognition with hit singles ‘Plug In Baby’, ‘New Born’ ‘Bliss’ and ‘Feeling Good’, before the band hit the big time with the arrival of 3rd album ‘Absolution’. After another string of successful hits and rave live reviews Muse had hit the big time, erm, big time!! 4th album ‘Black Holes and Revelations’, was massively anticipated, and being the cool as fudge band that they are, not only did they pull out another great album from the bag, but some argued that it was their best to date.

So with a band now reaching a following of epic proportions in not only the world of Indie music, but music in general how does their 5th album The Resistance stand up, eh?? Short answer not bad, but let’s do this properly and go through it track-by-track.

The album kicks off with ‘Uprising’, a very electronic sort of track, with a rhythmic bass line beating through it, and sound bites ‘nicked’ from Doctor Who in the background (well I’m pretty sure it’s Doctor Who!). This is a really decent opening track and gets the album off to a good start. Next up title track ‘Resistance’ follows and this is classic Muse territory with Matt Bellamy’s obsession with space coming through very strongly in this track. The lyrics “Could Be Wrong, Could Be Wrong” are the first time on the album where I think this record sounds a bit Queen-esque, but certainly not the last!!

‘Undisclosed Desires’ is an amazing song. The band have openly admitted in the past they would be keen to record a future bond theme (, but I would say a track like this would make the perfect bond theme, with its synth based opening and rhythm throughout, it’s string-laden chorus and it’s whispered backing vocals from Dom over the 2nd verse. This is an amazing, amazing song!!

First single from the album ‘United States of Eurasia’ follows, and is the 2nd track on the album that makes me thinks of ‘Queen’ again, although it still has a distinctly Muse feel to it. It starts with a slow piano melody and softly sung lyrics before it goes into a more epic sounding-prog rock track, with the occasional vocal pieces that reminds me of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ like vocals. I guessing the ‘+ Collateral Damage’ part of this song is the little peaceful like piano at the end of the track, with the fighter jet engines appearing in the background. No really this does happen!! ‘Guiding Light’ opens with massive ‘stadium rock’ like drumming. More of a slowed down rock track with a SUPER MASSIVE guitar solo thrown into the middle of it. Not my personal favourite track on the album in all honesty.

However, I do like ‘Unnatural Selection’, a 7 minute epic of a rock track, starting with a church like organ, before speeding up into an accelerating guitar riff. This track, like, totally, rocks dude!! ‘Mk Ultra’ continues the speeded up, space age rock, with another mental guitar riff opening it. We are still like, totally, rocking here to the max dude!! Now things get interesting with ‘I Belong to You’, a jazz, funk fusion of a track, with Matt Bellamy even pulling off some lyrics in French!! Muse being overly-extravagant? Never!! This is what I would call a ‘marmite’ track, you’ll either love it or hate it, I actually favour the former off the two.

And then we get to the final three tracks off the album, the much talked about ‘Exogenesis’, which is supposed to be a symphony consisting of 3 parts, ‘Overture’, ‘Cross-Pollination’ and ‘Redemption’. Each track seems to have its own purpose in building to an epic finale for an album that overall does nothing to hide its roots of the question of “Are we really alone or is there something really out there?” I’m not too sure about this three part symphony in all honesty, but I must confess I do like 'Part 1: Overture' musically. I guess the purpose of the symphony is to complete the 'story' of this album.

So, overall then I like this album generally, but in comparison to the earlier Muse albums and the bigger picture of all things (see what I did there!?), it’s not as mind-blowing but still a great record to listen to for some serious escapism. I think I shall mark this one 7 Resistors out of 10, so another solid album by Muse, but they have done better material in the past in my opinion for sure. Also, if you do get hold of it and like it for being the experimental album that it is, then I would highly recommend that you get hold off the 1998 album 'Six' by Mansun, an album even more ambitious and barmier than this Muse effort.

The Resistance ‘Flynny‘

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