How NOT to write about music – 33. Muse

Muse

God, I hate Muse.

Everything flash, shallow and opportune about music, overwrought and over-burdened with portentousness, rock music for boys who are no longer young but refuse to accept the fact performed by boys who are no longer young but still refuse to accept the fact and paraded as some form of “look how serious and earnest we are about music” when in reality Muse are flimsier, more crass and meaningless than an amalgam of shit identikit 2018 pop featuring Chainsmokers and Clean Bandit and that dick Calvin Harris. Schoolyard symbolism that wasn’t even big or clever when it was in the schoolyard. There’s no value, no frenzy, no meaning. Mock-anger paraded on the biggest stages of the land, like Green Day given a hefty dosage of prog theatrics and pop-up posturing, shit shit shit. God, I hate Muse. All the dullest bits of all the dullest parts of histrionic rock vocalising, coupled with all the dullest bits of prog and glam and cheeseboard guitar – and man there have been plenty – coupled with all the yawning chasms of imagination Pink Floyd have traded in ever since they dropped ‘songs’ from their repertoire, coupled with all the very dullest parts of retro 1980s electronica and retro 1980s rock posturing – and man there have been plenty – coupled with all the dullest parts of life. WHY IS IT THAT ALL THESE CUNTS INSIST ON SOUNDING EXACTLY LIKE EACH OTHER? The animals looked from pig to man, from man to pig, from Thom Yorke to Chris Martin to Matt Bellamy, and there is no way of telling them apart. God, I hate Muse. Where are you from ? Waitrose. Singing in a strained falsetto does not make you special or soulful it just means you sing in strained falsetto. The term space rock does not actually apply to their music: there is none of the mind-altering imaginings of Sun Ra or Alice Coltrane (who surely own the term), but a very earthbound reliance on tried tropes and even more tired production values. The Jonas Brothers of the rock world, Emerson Lake and Palmer without the musical flamboyance (and they didn’t even have any of that), an entire phalanx of shit for a generation bamboozled into thinking histrionic and flatulent means searching and imaginative instead of constipated and shit. God, I hate Muse. Dull as the bands that they so blatantly rip-off; in another age they’d have been called the Teignmouth Radiohead and reduced to a living eked out playing beered-up pubs full of lairy lads shouting “play fucking ‘Creep’ you wankers, not the pretentious shit”, indie buskers who unaccountably made it big. Musical theatre for people who have no idea how thrilling musical theatre can be. As people they seem remarkably inoffensive and well-meaning but that makes me hate them even more. As someone rightly once put it, “A band who if they weren’t famous would be assistant managers at branches of Subway in Rotherham, Wrexham and Dudley respectively”. Seven-minute guitar solos are not big. They’re not clever. They are seven-minute guitar solos. Like Dobby if he was given a rock band to play with. Bombastic, whiny, gross. God, I hate Muse. They were (sort of) OK when they were 16 because at least it was explainable then. They are not 16 now, not vaguely. They’re not Queen either. They’re not shit in the Smashing Pumpkins sense of the word but they sure as fuck ain’t Ariana. I feel so unclean.

Fun though – right? No.

This description is brilliant:

“Muse are for people whose political beliefs were formed by Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’. They’re for people who cite vaping as a sport. They’re for people who still fall out with their friends for not including them in their MySpace Top 8. They have ‘jet fuel can’t melt steel beams’ tattooed down their forearm. They wear black vests with tribal designs on them. If you were to ask Matt Bellamy who he hated most in this world it would either be George W. Bush or his Mum for grounding him after she caught him kissing a poster of Robocop.”