The past 12 months has been a rough ride for the Muse faithful. The singles preceding Muse’s new album have varied wildly from decent to absolutely god-awful (we’re looking at you, ‘Thought Contagion’). Needless to say Matt Bellamy, Dom Howard & Chris Wolstenholme’s ’80s themed Simulation Theory is shaping up to be more Masters of the Universe than Blade Runner. Although ‘The Dark Side’ was pretty good.
To mark this apparent point of no return, we whizz through five awesome tracks for those seeking that classic Muse sound.
But first here is a clip from the good old days when Muse performed an expletive-filled, drunken rendition of ‘Feeling Good’.
All is forgiven, you beautiful bastards.
5. Mutemath – Noticed
The New Orleans band may have been more angular, intricate, and math-rockish than the Teignmouth titans. However, their grasp of brilliantly weird choruses and colossal riffs overflowing with emotion is very much in line. ‘Noticed’ ratchets higher and higher before a transcendent instrumental breakdown takes the song to another plane entirely. Original guitarist Greg Hill may not reach for the distortion pedal as readily as Bellamy, but the high emotion is very familiar.
4. Royal Blood – Out Of The Black
There are still those who claim Royal Blood are inheritors to the Muse throne, to which I say – fat chance. However on their day the garage band twosome can riff with the best of them – and ‘Out Of The Black’ is certainly up there. Note also the outro; which sounds exactly like Muse’s beloved B-Side ‘Futurism’.
3. Incubus – Wish You Were Here
The atonal yelping of singer Brandon Boyd places the LA band between the Chilli Peppers and Rage Against the Machine. However, riffs that slam this hard always evoke the visage of Bellamy in his Origin of Symmetry days. The sheer weight with which this track lands is bone-crushing and beautiful.
2. October Drift – All Broken Down
For those missing the Showbiz days of murky, detached, angsty punk thrashing – Taunton has the answer. October Drift have picked up comparisons to early Muse not just for their fuzzed out and heavily distorted riff-driven sound, but also their relentless touring and legendary live shows. ‘All Broken Down’ is their best tune – a doomed ear-worm and an absolute weapon in a live setting.
1. Metric – Gimme Sympathy
Metric’s Fantasies and Muse’s The Resistance released just months apart in 2009, and served as twin peaks of indie rock as the ’00s came to an end. ‘Gimme Sympathy’ is just one of many, many excellent songs from the Canadian band’s fourth LP. While it sounds little like Muse’s grandiose (not to mention controversial) The Resistance, it sounds a lot like Muse circa Map of the Problematique, where prog intersected jungle. Anthemic chorus, punchy lyrics and a wonderfully simple but bruising riff, ‘Gimme Sympathy’ is a gem not to be overlooked.
But let’s not forget the good times: