Review Summary: If you’re craving a quick Muse fix or just looking to get the sour taste of The Resistance and The 2nd Law out of your mouth, this nifty little transition EP may prove to be worth your time.
Remember when Muse
used to play distorted riffs? Remember when Muse would infuse classical influences into their alternative sound instead of using bombastic classical sections as a crutch to make their songs sound as “epic” as possible? Remember when Matthew Bellamy was the best part about Muse rather than the worst? Remember when he would compose songs combining various influences naturally instead of writing songs based entirely around any half-ass idea that pops in his head?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, this EP can serve as the much-needed reminder that Bellamy is, thankfully, as talented as he is self-absorbed, and more importantly, that Muse actually used to be a damn good band.
It’s generally agreed upon by Muse fans that Origin of Symmetry
, and to a lesser extent, Black Holes and Revelations
, made up the band’s glory days. The amateurish yet ambitious rock sound that encompassed Showbiz
was fully realized on their fantastic sophomore release Origin of Symmetry
, and was polished even further into a classical-tinged alt rock masterpiece, Absolution
. In between these two arguably genre-defining behemoths, however, is a relatively unnoticed transition EP. Dead Star/In Your World
is essentially a double single, released in certain countries as an EP including the B-sides of both singles and an instrumental version of “Dead Star.” The new tracks themselves display a slight shift from the heavy-but-catchy sound that comprised Origin
. “Dead Star” is possibly the heaviest song they’ve ever written bar “Assassin,” beginning with a metal riff, broken verses and snarly vocals from Bellamy, following an elaborate but easily digestible chord progression not unlike the chorus of “Space Dementia” with trance-inducing distortion replacing an ominous spacey atmosphere. The chorus lyrics are cliché and lame; You used to be everything to me / And now you're tired of fighting / Tired of fighting / Fighting yourself
, but it's incredibly catchy and honestly it's just nice to hear Matt scream his lungs out.
“In Your World” is really where the band shows signs of their musical maturation. It begins with a piano motif reminiscent of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
by Johann Sebastian Bach
, with the guitar mimicking the line shortly thereafter. The chorus is a thing of beauty, being as heavy as it is melodic – a trait they fully utilize on their magnum opus Absolution
. “Futurism,” which was previously released on the Japanese release of Origin
, fares similarly to “Dead Star” as a standard riff-driven Muse track with distorted vocals and a powerful chorus, and Frankie Valli
cover “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” does little to make it stand out from the original, but the bossa nova feel and a few added nuances by Bellamy make it a pleasant vacation song.
Dead Star/In Your World
isn’t an essential Muse release by any means, nor do any of the tracks rank up with their best material. It’s simply a transition EP with a few hidden gems for Muse completists, combining the basal elements of both Origin
into a brief and wholly enjoyable 17-minute package. If you’re craving a quick alternative rock fix or just looking to get the sour taste of Muse's last two albums out of your mouth, this release may prove to be worth your time.