It’s been a long time since I heard a Muse song that I liked. Probably have to go back to the album Black Holes and Revelations for that. Anyways, recently I heard another new Muse song that brought back their actual guitar playing and today they dropped this new single “Kill Or Be Killed” that is pretty damn good. It’s nice to hear Muse going back to the days of playing rock music and moving away from the dreadful electronic almost Imagine Dragons-esque crap they were putting out!
Now this is a very interesting one. Muse have returned to a guitar heavy vibe with bits of industrial tinges and even a metalcore-esque breakdown with their new song “Won’t Stand Down.” Speaking on the meaning of the song “Won’t Stand Down’ is a song about standing your ground against bullies, whether that be on the playground, at work or anywhere,” says vocalist/guitarist Matt Bellamy. “Protecting yourself from coercion and sociopathic manipulation and to face adversity with strength, confidence and aggression.” The song was produced by Muse and Dan Lancaster (Bring Me The Horizon). Hopefully this is a sign that a new Muse album will go back to their “roots” and bring back the rock!
I always find it to be interesting and cool when a heavy band takes on a more “alternative” sounding bands’ song. A few years back the band God Forbid, while working on their album Earthsblood, took a chance and did a cover of the Muse song “Stockholm Syndrome.” The did they song in their style and made it into quite a cool version. Check it out!!
God Forbid- Stockholm Syndrome:
I’ve always been intrigued by bands that have 3 or less members. Sure some of them when they play live add members to fill out their sound, but the core remains those three people. So with that in mind here is a list of the best three piece bands. Note This list is in NO PARTICULAR ORDER.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Jimi Hendrix Experience
High On Fire
Crosby, Stills & Nash
The Police (Even though Sting is a douche)
When you think of Muse you think of vibrant live shows with lots of lights and lasers. Not to mention the direction they went in after their breakthrough album Absolution. Shedding their Radiohead tendencies, Muse delved deep into their love of Queen. On their now seventh album Drones, Matt Bellamy and company took their love of all things Queen and added more guitars to it. Produced by Robert “Mutt” Lange (Def Leppard Pyromania and Hysteria, ACDC Back In Black), Drones is nestled deep in its concept and the arrangements are very tight, but the lyrics suffer. While the band has always been top notch musicians, the lyrics come across as high school and very conspiracy theory like.
There are a few saving graces on the album though. The song “Psycho” is an extremely heavy rocking song that I dare say should have been the first single instead of “Dead Inside. “Dead Inside” is your typical standard song you would expect from Muse nowadays. “Psycho” brings back that intensity that was found on Absolution and Showbiz. “Mercy” has an Ours-esque vibe in the vocal melody. One of the biggest things I noticed in listening to the album was the guitar style that Matt is playing with now. It’s as though he is trying to replicate Tom Morello’s sound and bring it to the Muse fold. Sadly though his attempt falls flat. This is very noticeable on the songs “Reapers” and “Defector.” One of the other highlights I found amongst the album was the song “Aftermath.” There is a really sweet melody that goes along with the song and the guitars sound like they are a part of a Cure song, making this one of the more enjoyable songs on the album. Album closer “The Globalist” starts off with an Ennio Morricone type opener, then proceeds to slow things down almost to a halt.
All in all the album as a whole is very underwhelming. I really enjoyed the albums Showbiz and Absolution. I wish they would go back to their Radiohead tendencies but with a heavier feel. Drones tries to show a more mature side of Muse, but it doesn’t quite get there. This album was supposed to be a more “back to basics” album, sadly their idea of basic isn’t what this turned out to be. Here’s hoping Muse gets back to what they started off as and they stop trying to go over the top with all their grandiose and Queen like vibe.