Ballroom-dancing punk poets with fire in their eyes and grit in their veins - NME
I nearly choked to death on a Smarties cap - Chris Wolstenhome
Hailing from Teignmouth
UK band Muse were formed in 1993 under the name Gothic Plague when Matthew Bellamy
(Vocals & Guitar), Chris Wolstenhome
(bass) and Dominic Howard
(drums) were just 13. Bored with their less than bustling locality they started playing together and performing covers of famous 80s rock tracks. The band stayed together throughout their teens but their name progressed to Fixed Penalty and then Rocket Baby Dolls before they settled on Muse. It was during this time that they developed away from the Brit Pop scene that had captivated the UK. Apart from Radiohead
they looked across to the US for inspiration and go it from the likes of the Smashing Pumpkins
. On top of these groups, like any teenage rock fans of the time, they were hugely influenced by Nirvana
as can be seen on tracks like Uno
The group remained an idle past time until they entered a regional battle of the band contest populated by "fretwanking Jamirowannabes". They decided to take the piss by dressing up with full make up and then they trashed the stage. To the band's surprise they won and they realised that it was time to get serious. Being 250 miles from London did not make their job any easier but in 1998 they attracted some interest from minor records companies and they were flown to the US to perform. Here interest really began to take off and they were signed to Madonna's Maverick label. Following a series of deals across the world Muse released the first single, aptly titled Uno, in 1998. Following a number of other single releases the dropped their first album, Showbiz in 1999.
In early 2000 Muse toured the US with the likes of the Foo Fighters and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Through this they were inspired to become more adventurous on stage and they transformed from indie band teenagers into an exciting and thrilling live performers. It was this new energy that inspired their new frantic style in Origin of Symmetry. No more was Muse a simple Radiohead clone, they had developed into energising and frenetic rock band. From their opening single from Origin of Symmetry, Plug in Baby, a song about "how it would be really cool if we could genetically engineer puppies that never grow old", to their cover of the Nina Simone classic, Feeling Good, Muse have proved that they can and have developed their own style.
If you liked this then...
Showbiz hints at the potential in this young band, and it should be of interest to many Radiohead fans - Tom Demalon, AMG Reviewer
Passionate and loud and also unexpectedly gentle - Rolling Stone Magazine
It's hard not to become thoroughly intoxicated by its dusky beauty - Glen Sansome, CMJ
- Muscle Museum
- Falling Down
- Hate This & I'll Love You
It is easy to see the Radiohead influence in Muse with their first release, indeed some have dismissed the entire album as poor imitation. To a large extent it can be said that Muse are just indulging in an art that Radiohead pioneered and are failing to live up to its creators. However any new musical movement must have its imitators just as much as it must have its founders and Muse have proved an accomplished exploration of the genre. Listening to the album more carefully will give you a glimpse into the musical development of Muse as they grew up. Glimps of Nirvana can be seen along with other key rock bands of the early nineties and delve a little deeper and Queen influence nestles even further under the surface.
An excellent debut and definitely worth owning despite the Radiohead simlarities.
Origin Of Symmetry is a fascinating, flamboyant and satisfyingly individual album - Louis Pattison, Amazon.com reviewer
Like Blofeld on a power trip. Fronting a heavy metal band. In space. Don't even think about trying to resist. - Ian Watson
- New Born
- Space Dementia
- Hyper Music
- Plug In Baby
- Citizen Erased
- Micro Cuts
- Dark Shines
- Feeling Good
Muse came into their own with this album. Moving out of the shadows of Radiohead they have indulged themselves with a full blown rock album. "The new Queen" come the cries. Well perhaps not yet but the change of direction, inspired largely by their 2000 US tour, move them more into that style and away from their recognisable melancholic melodies on Showbiz. Almost universally recognised as a criminally self indulgent album reviewers still seem unable to resist the charms of this UK threesome. Origin of Symettry is hugely more convoluted than Showbiz as they pile up the backing lines with organs and orchestras. Bellamy explains this away as his fascination with classical music and opera although that all sounds a little too convenient. However this album shows a promising new direction for the band and with luck they will look to learn from their self indulgence to produce what looks to be a truly great third album.
Bellamy's vocal anguish is painfully romantic ? think Jeff Buckley and more conservative Thom Yorke - MacKenzie Wilson, AMG
- Shrinking Universe
- Yes Please
- Map of Your Head
- Shine (Acoustic)
- Jimmy Kane
- The Gallery
- Hyper Chondriac Music
- Dead Star
- Micro Cuts
- Citizen Erased
- Sunburn (Piano)
- Dark Shines
- Space Dementia
- In Your World
- Muscle Museum
Hullabaloo is a DVD recording of a live performance by Muse at Le Zenith in Paris in 2001. I have not seen the DVD but I have heard the album and it is full of all the energy you would expect from such a frenetic and exciting group. It is a reminder of how good Muse really had become since you first heard that screaming guitar first in 2000. The DVD is packed with extra features such as a documentary and clips of all Muse songs released so far. There is also a second disk which contains all Muse's singles and B sides. The only thing to watch out for is which version of the disk you are buying, DVD or audio, and whether the second disk is included. An excellent retrospective on two years that have sen Muse emerge at the forefront of British rock music.
Newcomers to the band should expect killer guitars reminiscent of jackhammers and chainsaws, bloodcurdling choruses, and, of course, tender passages of falsetto - Tim DiGravina, AMG
Absolution just tends to sound like the sort of frustration only a fourteen-year-old can truly experience - contactmusic.com
- Apocalypse Please
- Time Is Running Out
- Sing for Absolution
- Stockholm Syndrome
- Falling Away With You
- Butterflies and Hurricanes
- The Small Print
- Thoughts of a Dying Atheist
- Ruled by Secrecy
So here it is, the third album from Muse, the album that two years ago I thought would be "truly great". Well, I was wrong (take note, you won't hear that very often). It's still high powered rock music with all that trademark Muse emotional intensity but rarely does it graduate beyond that. You still feel like three guys have gone into a recording studio and have bet each other in turn that they can't include instrument x on song y. They still get it right sometimes, the single release, Time is Running Out, is an excellent track but it is somewhat on its own. If you like Muse, you'll like this album, even if you don't like Muse, you'll like this album but it could have been so much more. The genius is there in the band, you almost sense, like a football team, that they just need a fresh approach, a producer they really click with for example, to fulfil what they have been promising us for nearly four years now.