Tag Archives: Muse

Muse – 2nd Law album review

So this is what it’s all been amounting to – a direct evolution from the early days of Origins of Symmetry (Plug in Baby), through Black Holes and Revelations (Starlight, Supermassive Black Hole) the orchestral stage of The Resistance (ambivalent dross that nobody bought) and now this. The 2nd Law: Muse’s 9th Symphony.


The album as a whole is a cacophony of influences, ranging from the likes of Brian May to Coldplay to perhaps even Skrillex.
The album’s name sake track builds with a string section full of panic and animosity played against a news broadcast of the planet’s well documented energy crisis. Although the broadcast has been construed to sound like Earth is in the clutches of evil and we’re all doomed, it’s very passionate. Its sheer gravitas puts it as a header for The 2nd Law.

Save Me documents Chris Wolstenholme’s battle with alcoholism and for the first time, Bellamy’s put him forward for lead vocals. Dominic Howard, drummer, admits “it’s like having a new member in the band.”
I’m going to be honest, I was expecting a vodka soaked version of We Are The Champions, but as I’m listening and writing right now, I’m eating my words – the kid can sing. We’ve got ourselves a regular Chris Martin here. Well done on both counts, Chris.

It would be improper not to mention Panic Station. The horns in this track are epic. Brass of this calibre hasn’t featured in anything in a while, and it makes a great change.
The fact that Muse have embraced so many new directions and crammed them all together further proves that they can evolve with the music industry, and aren’t anything like the masses, eventually becoming stuck in their ways.

Published with I Are Yeti


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Bloc Party – Four album review

It’s Sunday 24 August 2008 and I’m sat in a field with 70,000 other welly clad, mud laden, laugh-in-the-face-of-sobriety types waiting to see Bloc Party live at Leeds Festival.
Previously I hadn’t known much of the band with the exception to a couple of their more acclaimed releases like ‘Modern Way’ and ‘Helicopter’.
So there I was there with an open mind and ears eagerly waiting to be impressed.

I can unfortunately report I never did catch the Bloc Party bug – so here we are today for a licit and in-depth reasoning as to why. Oh, and I’ll also discuss their new album, ‘Four’.

Bloc Party, for me, have always been renowned for their resonance of 80s successes like Joy Division and Sonic Youth, but that movement has unfortunately come to rest. Its revival may be for someone else’s doing.

The new album is a lot of what we’ve already heard from Bloc Party in the past. They’re sticking with the sound they’ve had from pretty much the off.

There are notably more bands this year that are dramatically changing their direction, i.e. Muse’s dub step movement or The xx going for a dirty underground kind of thing – maybe this is something BP should have discussed at a band rehearsal. Shoulda-coulda-woulda, I guess…
Punchy percussion and tremolo treble heavy guitar drowned in special fx line the perimeter of most tracks and I find myself waiting for a track to end, with a glimmer of hope for the next one being a little more creative.

There’s also this annoying thing they’ve decided to include in the album: little snippets of conversation like bookends at the intro and outro of some of the tracks. This is an excerpt from ‘Team A’: “The thing is… h-how do they know if it was a spider bite?
“Do you want me to look it up for you?” replies an unconcerned female voice.
“Yes, uh… yes please. A friend of mine at school once went to… when he came back from Africa…” etc. What’s going on there, Bloc Party?

My faith was restored briefly with ‘Truth’ – a well composed and unassuming track hidden towards the end of the album. The group of 30-somethings haven’t overcrowded it with their usual busy approach to music, and have instead stripped everything back to a straight up four piece soft rock track that holds a lot on its own – it echo’s slightly of Temper Trap and maybe a hint of Passion Pit. More like this please.

If you’re a diehard Bloc Party fanatic you’ve probably already tuned out, and have started swearing at your computer.
If you have made it this far I can report I’ve come to the decision that this band, aren’t all bad but they could certainly do with looking into some more tracks alike ‘Truth’.
They clearly host the competence to throw together a decent song, but they need to do it more often.

The published article will soon feature at Dead Press

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