Friday, January 16, 2009


Status-Out as of 1999
Rating-3 Feathers

After winning their local battle of the bands contest, glam/goth Rocket Baby Dolls, comprised of drummer Dom Howard, singer/guitarist Matt Bellamy, and bassist Chris Wolstenholme, decided to go with a more ‘professional’ name. Now known as Muse, they got signed to Taste Media, resulting in their first album Showbiz. ‘Sunburn’ fires off with a lightly pleasant piano, which helps give it it’s own unique sound without sounding dainty. As a starter, it’s alright, not too heavy and not too light. ‘Muscle Museum’ is a fine follower to the previous song. Though I really don’t like the main riff, I really like the immense catchiness of the vocals, and the chorus will be grinded into your head like nothing else. The combination of bass aided by a deep piano is very effective and even if the song was terrible, the title alone is enough to save it. ‘Fillip’ freaked me out when I first heard it. It overwhelmingly your basic 90’s pop song and possibly the closest thing Muse’ll get to mainstream. It’s very infectious, but just not my type of song. ‘Falling Down’ is very soft, maybe a little too soft. It sounds like you’d hear it in a real fancy restaurant or in a bar geared towards the older crowd. It’s a little too-too bluesy for me, and it drones on a little too long. For ‘Cave’, though the guitar is a little iffy, the bass, drums, and vocals are really good. It sounds very much like 60’s spy movie music, which gives it a nice appeal. In contrast, ‘Showbiz’ sounds like a Tool song, especially with the drums and the vocals. Each part seems pretty complex, but it’s still kind to the ears. The very large use of falsetto vocals is a very creepy (but good) effect. ‘Unintended’ is a very nice break from the last couple of songs. Seen through the lines ‘you could be the one who listens to my deepest inquisitions, you could be the one I'll always love’, you can tell that it’s a charmingly bizarre love song. Equipped with a light acoustic guitar, light drumming, and very melodic vocals, it’s simply beautiful. ‘Uno’ is my personal favorite song on the album. Their weird music tastes and influences are made very evident here, seeing that it is a very heavy tango. This also shows that they are capable of taking risks, which for a debut is pretty gutsy. ‘Sober’ is also one of the best songs on the album. The beginning is very heavily 90’s, but the chorus brings it back to that experimental weird sound. The combination of a heavy guitar and bassline for the chorus with a falsetto ‘you’re so solid’ gives it a heavier gist which helps it a lot. ‘Escape’ starts out real slow, and even though it heavies up a bit, it generally just isn’t that great. It’s a little mean too demonstrated by the lines ‘you’re insignificant’. ‘Overdue’(s) general melody sounds very influenced by Pearl Jam, but, like the last song, it’s nothing special clearly aided by the fact that you can’t understand what he’s saying in the slightest. ‘Hate This and I’ll Love You’ is an awkwardly calm ending to this odd album, it’s almost safe to say they were ‘growing tired’ by this point. The slight pick-up at the end helps, but I still would’ve chosen a heavier tune to finish it off. Though Showbiz has very odd spanish influences with a heavy 90’s pop flair, this album surprisingly wasn’t all that terrible. Though not amazing, most of the songs show that they know how to take risks and that they are indeed fine musicians. They have promise and will surely not be called insignificant anytime soon.
“Most of our first gigs were in typical Devon pubs where you just go and sit down with a drink and watch VH-1 on the telly. They really didn't want to see a band. All they wanted was a quiet pint and we were in the corner just making a racket...”-Dom Howard

Video for Uno

Recommendations-Unintended, Uno, Sober
Muse's Official Website
Note: I'm down to posting 2 reviews a week (that means I'll have something tomorrow, yes!) and last week should count because I posted two things. I'm reviewing all of Muse's CDs over a period time, so if you like Muse stick around. Thank you so much for reading!

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