When researching conspiracy theories ahead of this album, frontman Matt Bellamy became so absorbed he convinced himself the world was on the verge of destruction. To ensure his survival in the upcoming apocalypse, he bought 50 tins of beans and an axe! Perhaps this explains Muse’s oddest album to date.
Bellamy’s increasing eccentricities reveal themselves throughout The Resistance, on quite possibly the kookiest concoction of an album you will hear this year. It’s likely to split the masses, even losing Muse a few fans. Not that they are likely to care. They’ve made this album for no-one but themselves. And that’s good news, because The Resistance is an album of sheer genius.
Opener and single ‘Uprising’ sounds like a mighty clash between the Dr Who theme and Blondie’s ‘Call Me’. On paper that sounds as appealing as a collaboration between Westlife and Jay-Z, but hearing is believing. It’s pure indulgent catchiness. You can even imagine the stars of Wayne’s World head-banging along in their car!
In fact, the album does have a distinctive Queen vibe going on. Particularly in ‘United States of Eurasia’. This has an uncanny splash of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, with a big Aladdin style Arabian piano frenzy thrown in. But Muse haven’t gone out to make a Queen inspired album. This is more like a theatrical concoction of every piece of music Muse have ever liked. It’s big, it’s bold and it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted.
‘Resistance’ is influenced by the forbidden love of George Orwell’s ‘1984’ characters Winston and Julia. In it, Winston concluded that the biggest resistance against the oppressive regime of Big Brother was love and sex – the ultimate forbidden act.
Nothing quite prepares you for ‘I Belong to You’ though. A song that can only be described as a upbeat love song straight out of a Christmas pantomime. It’s arguably the best song here. Bellamy sings “I’ve travelled half the world to say, you are my mu…” just missing out the ‘se’ before going into a random verse of French singing. Complete madness.
You have to hand it to this band, they certainly know how to keep things fresh and exciting. ‘Undisclosed Desires’ should be in your top 5 singles of the year while the ‘Exogenesis’ trilogy is nothing short of epic. In fact, this entire album is epic. Muse have excelled themselves yet again making THE album of 2009.
The UK is over-indulged with various indie-rock bands, all creating the same by-numbers tracks day in day out. Thankfully, Mirrorkicks are not safe in any way. This South London band’s debut single, ‘Turning Up’, takes indie-rock to a new, darker place with its grungy guitar licks.
It’s very apparent from the single that Mirrorkicks’ are straddling that thin line between indie-rock and just plain rock. But it’s the vocals which pull this song back into the indie ranks. Soft and sweet, Anil Kamalagharan’s voice is distinctive and perfect for a frontman. This is a band that are really bringing excitement back into the world of indie-rock.
Put it this way. If this band were American they might be called Weezer. Yes, that’s how much of a hidden gem Mirrorkicks are. For a debut single ‘Turning Up’ mirrors the confidence of a band on their third or fourth album. Can you imagine just how good this band will sound live? Hopefully there will be a full UK tour before the year’s out.
A lazy critic might write Alberta Cross off as a poor Kings of Leon clone. True, there are substantial similarities between the two bands; both have created bluesy rock albums, both have singers with highly distinctive voices and both make music laced with heavily harmonised guitars. But do not be fooled, Alberta Cross are so much more than some band that sound a bit like some other band. Alberta Cross are undoubtedly going to be superstars of the future.
‘Broken Side Of Time’ is the band’s first full length album but that’s not to say Alberta Cross are particularly new on the scene. They’ve already released the highly acclaimed EP ‘The Heartbreaker And The Thief’ and supported bands like Oasis, Bat For Lashes and The Shins to name a few.
Which all sounds pretty impressive, but doesn’t really give any substantial reason to why this band are going to be massive. That’s because the proof, my friends, is in the pudding. It only takes one listen of Broken Side Of Time to realise just how incredible this band really are. ‘Song Three Blues’, the opening track of the album, is both beautiful and haunting. Singer Petter Ericson Stakee has a voice that was created just to send shivers down your spine. This man really knows how to channel raw emotion through his voice but crucially without sounding like a screechy, over-zealous Corey Taylor. Anyone who doesn’t fall in love with Stakee from the second he howls “I just wanna live, is that a crime?” is either lying or just heartless.
Title track ‘Broken Side Of Time’ is equally as haunting but ever the more powerful. The drum beat and guitar screech battling each other the opening second before fading out to allow Stakee’s voice to wail out his woes; it’s a twisting journey led by the band. They channel their music right through your soul and it is utterly inspiring.
Latest single ‘ATX’ sounds almost Muse like in its ferocity but with the added hint of Kasabian while previous single ‘Leave Us And Forgive Us’ is more reminiscent of The Airborne Toxic Event. But none of these comparisons even come close to having the voice of Stakee which is what really makes this band stand out amongst the crowd. Stakee’s voice alone is nothing less than infectious. In fact, it is breath-taking.
Arguably, this album is one of 2009’s best offerings. A definite top five contender. You seriously need to experience this album for yourself and share it with everyone you know. In a few years’ time you’ll be able to take full credit for introducing them to one of the biggest bands around.