|First live performance||20th September 2012|
|Latest live performance||19st September 2015|
In an NME article the song was described as being "flamenco-flecked." When earlier describing the album on Twitter, Matt was possibly referring to 'Animals' as 'face melting metal flamenco cowboy psychedelia.'
'Animals' is about economies collapsing under the weight of stock market savagery, of industries desperate to "advertise, franchise… kill the competition," and of the greed of bankers who Matt claims should "kill [themselves]." Matt says: "This song is conjuring up the rawest form of that feeling of 'look what humans are capable of doing, it's shocking.'"
Matt said in an interview with 1Radio that this song was influenced by a Queens of the Stone Age song that has a 5/4 time signature (Most likely Hangin' Tree). He also said Animals is the hardest song to play live off The 2nd Law due to having to play lead guitar and sing at the same time.
The piano riff bears similarity to Exile Vilify by The National.
This song has been compared to flamenco-guitar artists and Queens of the Stone Age.
'Animals' is a unique composition in Muse's discography, being the band's first full song to use a 5/4 time signature, and marking their first use of polymeters as a band, (previously used in Hoodoo with a string section): during the outro, the drums play in 4/4 while the other instruments remain in 5/4. It's also the first Muse song written in the key of E♭ minor. The progression in the chorus is similar to Screenager. The bridge that leads into the guitar solo bears a resemblance to the outro of Unnatural Selection. Throughout the guitar solo, the band plays 3 bars of 5/4; the 4th bar being 6/4. Throughout this solo, the crash is hit in 5/2 time for two bars, and then 11/4 for the next two bars in a similar fashion.
According to Jeuxactu, a French magazine, the song has a fast beat, and while heavy riffs seem expected, the song has a simple, short guitar solo. 
Bellamy's vocal range in the song spans from G♭3 to A♭4.
The name of this working title song was shown on a photo posted by the Muse account on Twitter.
Animals is a song performed somewhat often by the band since its introduction on The 2nd Law Tour. Animals was one of the most performed songs during 2012, appearing at most gigs throughout the year. It was routinely performed until March 2013 when Animals was usually performed at every other night. The Unsustainable Tour brought Animals back into a permanent setlist position, though this would not last long as it was only played eight times following the end of The Unsustainable Tour. For this tour, a banker actor would come onto the stage towards the end of the songs holding large amounts of "Musos" (the band's fictional currency used on the tour), who would suffer some sort of trauma and collapse dead on the stage during the outro. Animals was one of the very few songs from The 2nd Law to be performed in 2014.
You’re an animal Don’t take anything less
Out of control You’re out of control Strike those in distress
Analyse Advertise Expand Bend more rules Buy yourself an island
Animals We’re animals Buy when blood is on the street
Out of control We’re out of control Crush those who beg at your feet
Analyse Franchise Spread out Kill the competition And buy yourself an ocean
Amortise Downsize Lay off Kill yourself Come on and do us all a favour (Big crowds screaming and individuals counting can be heard in the outro) (Wall street trading floor samples)
- Muse account. (2012-03-01). Picture posted on Muse's twitter. Twitter. Retrieved 2012-03-01.