Rock Sound 1999 – Muse 'Showbiz'

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A review on page 72 in Rock Sound magazine of Showbiz, presumably from 1999


review rock





A rolling piano, a skittering beat and a honeyed voice, guitars that speak with tongues of angels and a melody plucked from the stars. Ok, so 'Sunburn' doesn't quite live up to the description but it's beautiful, intriguing entry point to the world of Showbiz nevertheless. Muse, potentially Britain's biggest new rock band, have been quickening the pulse of anyone who's fallen for their spell in the last 12 months. Huge, soul-changing music, ambitious, unafraid and wickedly twisted, it goes straight to the heart. Matt Bellamy's voice is the secret weapon. Ant it could flatten China. Fragile, raw, invincible, luxurious it can do things that even the oft-cited Jeff Buckley/Thom Yorke comparisons fail to predict. 'Falling Down' is a showtune, complete with choral backing that allows Matt to venture where few would dare. 'Fillip' kicks the Pixies to death with its opening four bars and whirls into dreamy interludes, stabbing repeatedly with a chorus that scratches itself across your memory whilst 'Muscle Museum' soars up and away. Not bad considering Muse are still young enough to have been boy band fodder instead. The effect on teenage girls would be dramatic to say the least. These anthems of despair, frustration, loneliness, pain and redemption would erase the saccharine likes of Westlife and Boyzone in one swift blow. New single 'Cave' if there is any justice would be number one right now. The scope and range of this, a debut album, is immense. It may take a while for its charms to unfold but if you're swayed by intelligent, literate, twisted rock, you'll be seduced by Showbiz within hours. The poignancy and passion of 'Unintended' would not have sounded out of place on Radiohead's last album, but the vicious tango of 'Uno' is in a world of its own. 'Sober' rocks like a bastard and 'Showbiz' glistens darkly. Few British bands are putting out records this intense, challenging and, to be honest, just darn good and Muse deserve all the adulation that threatens to come their way. Tracks like 'Escape' scream Muse's potential from the nearest rooftops, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Muse gracing many end of years polls. And then showbiz truly beckons. (Nick Smith)

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