The legendary rock band Muse recently released two new singles along with a release date for their album Drones. The two tracks give a nice preview of the album, without revealing its whole story.
The first single they released, “Psycho,” may surprise listeners with its subject matter and explicit language, but it is absolutely the better of the two tracks. The song begins with dialogue between a military officer and one of his troops, using lines like, “if you do not do what you’re told when you’re told to do it, you will be punished?” showing Muse’s obvious standpoint on the military. The upcoming album name is alluded to with lines like “are you a human drone?” to let us know that this is only a taste of what’s to come in June.
Once the initial dialogue ends, fans might be pleasantly surprised to hear a familiar guitar riff to start “Psycho.” Muse has been jamming on this heavy, drop D-tuned riff at concerts for almost a decade now and have finally decided to use it for the purposes of their own music. One can hear the very same riff at the end of Muse’s song “Stockholm Syndrome” in their live recording at Wembley Stadium.
The subject matter may be familiar when fans think back to “Knights of Cydonia” off of Black Holes and Revelations with similarly rebellious lyrics like “you and I must fight for our rights,” except in “Psycho” the lyrics are straight to the point. Probably a less familiar aspect for Muse fans is the swearing throughout, with the repeated line “your a** belongs to me now” and constant droppings of various expletives.
“Dead Inside” is the second, slightly more disappointing track Muse released from Drones. It begins with the in-your-face, harmonized scream of the title, followed by a simple, repeated drumbeat accompanied by an electronic-sounding bass guitar and keyboard. Later, we are greeted by the lead singer’s voice and a high-pitched, muted guitar.
Though this very 80s-centric introduction to “Dead Inside” may make some fans nervous and a little unsatisfied, the remainder of the song builds into something much more beautiful. Immediately after the first chorus, a heavily distorted, yet virtuous guitar solo plays. Much like the shift in tone of their previous song “Resistance” off of the album of the same name, “Dead Inside” takes a complete shift into full guitar chords and more driving drums, rather than the groove from earlier, without returning to its original sound.
Drones is set to hit stores on June 8. The album is available now for pre-order on iTunes with a full list of track names.
Kevin Callan is a third-year student majoring in liberal studies with minors in journalism and music. He can be reached at KC765919@wcupa.edu.