Spin #34 : Muse: The Resistance
Musicians on Album: Matthew Bellamy (lead vocals, guitar, keyboard/piano, synthesizer), Christopher Wolstenholme (Bass guitar, backing vocals) and Dominic Howard (drums/percussion, synthesizers).
Muse : The Resistance Year Released : 2009 Produced by Muse Label: Warner Bros Price Range: $50AUD+ Speed: 33 1/3RPM Album Before : Black Holes and Revelations (2006) Album After : The 2nd Law (2012) Further Listening : Will Of The People (2022) LP : 2 x Black LP Mood for enjoying: Throw this one on for a Friday night spin and you wont be disappointed. Has big beat driven songs that will keep your spirts lifted. Track Listing:
LP 1 Side A
Uprising - 5:05
Resistance - 5:47
Undisclosed Desires - 3:56
United States Of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage) - 5:48
Guiding Light - 4:14
LP 2 Side C
Unnatural Selection - 6:55
MK Ultra - 4:06
I Belong To You (+Mon Coeur S'ovre A Ta Voix) - 5:39
Exogenesis: Symphony Part 1 (Overture) - 4:19
Exogenesis: Symphony Part 2 (Cross-Pollination) - 3:56
Exogenesis: Symphony Part 3 (Redemption) - 4:37
What's in the Sleeve ? 2 x Black LP in paper sleeves with lyrics and photographs of the band. Gatefold design and I've added inner bags to prolong the life of the record.
"Interchanging mind control, come let the revolution take its toll. If you could flick a switch and open your third eye. You'd see that we should never be afraid to die (so come on)" ~ Uprising -Side A
Welcome to Spin #34 - Muse - The Resistance
Welcome to R'nR With Rylo! This week we will be spinning the awesome album, 'The Resistance' by English Alt rockers, Muse. This album holds a special place in our hearts for reasons that I will go into during the spin. I can't believe that it has been 34 spins already and we appreciate whoever is coming along for the musical journey with us.
Muse are one of those bands that we have their entire studio catalogue on wax (yes even the one that came out in 2022 - Will Of The People). I love how they have evolved over the course of their career and that they keep pushing the boundaries with their sound.
For this Spin, I have used our set up in the front sun room as a change up to the previous weeks. It is such a nice spot to relax under the window in the sunlight. Our setup consists of the Audio technica AT-LP60XBT and the Marshall Woburn II speaker. Before we spin, make sure you get into something comfortable and put up your feet as you come along on Spin #34 with us!
Christopher Wolstenholme, Matthew Bellamy and Dominic Howard
Drop the Needle (of course means place the stylus nicely on your wax):
Have you ever found an album that instantly transports you to a location from your past? For us here at R'nR with Rylo, the album that we are placing on the platter right now is exactly that for us. 'The Resistance' by Muse reminds Night Kat Kiz and I of Sydney's Big Day Out of 2010. Now at the time we were watching the same band but from different vantage points and knew of each other but weren't dating at the time. It would be approximately 7-8 months later that we were going steady and the rest is history. I know that we saw a lot of great bands and artists at that festival but the one that stood out so much was Muse. They were headlining the show and were the last act on the main stage. They were even joined by Nic Cester (lead singer of Aussie band, JET to sing AC/DC).
This record has an iconic artwork that stands out wherever you see it from - streaming services, placed on a shelf as artwork etc. It reminds me of a kaleidoscope and shows someone walking along an orange path all the way to planet earth. There is a lot of love taken for the production of this record and I can tell just by holding the gatefold. So many records today don't seem to take the full advantage of what they could include in a record sleeve and I get upset when they don't even include a lyrics sheet.
This opening track, 'Uprising' was the first of five singles to be released from this album and it has a heavy driving bass chord throughout that takes command. At the same time there is the use of a light electronic pulsing sound that goes well with Bellamy's vocals. It is a monster of a song that really brings you into the world that Muse are trying to create here for the listener. At first, I was wondering how three band members could achieve all of this being heard through the speakers. I have since learnt that they pretty much did (apart from some hand clapping and chanting backing vocals). Bellamy is on guitar and keyboards whilst being lead vocalist. Wolstenholme has that killer bass chord throughout and Howard is maintaining that drive behind the kit. I am following along with the lyrics provided within the gatefold and the colours really stand out on the insert sleeve (see photographs down below). Even though it has yellow text on a red background, the lettering is sharp enough to follow along with. 'Uprising' is a very protest driven, 'F@#$ you' to the establishment kind of song that is easy to get behind. I particularly like the lyrics, "Another promise, another seed. Another packaged lie to keep us trapped in greed and all the green belts wrapped around our minds, and endless red tape to keep the truth confined". The production on each song is a stand out and it's easy to see why this record was such a hit in 2009/2010 (and beyond).
Second track on the album is called 'Resistance' and continues with the hits. 'Resistance' is a bit lighter in tone compared to the first track and as we are listening along I can hear our daughter beginning to wake up from her midday nap. Our son is playing with all of his monster trucks and the rain is falling on the roof outside. I can see that the band were heavily influenced by the George Orwell novel, 1984 during the process of creating this record. There is light piano work being played which provides a perfect pairing with Bellamy's voice. The hi-hat work of Howard during the bridge really adds to the build up once the chorus comes through. Another strong song to sing along with, "Love is our Resistance, they'll keep us apart and they won't stop breaking us down. Hold me, our lips must always be sealed". The song ends with a spacey kind of fade out and rolls into the beat fest of 'Undisclosed Desires'.
This third track is a fun song that I remember seeing live. 'Undisclosed Desires' was a track that made you bop your head along and sway to the beat. I like the rnb style and the slap bass technique of Wolstenholme. I can tell that this was a different style of song trialled by Muse and I think that it works well as the closer on Side A. What do you think? let us know in the comments below or on our social pages. It's time for the LP to be flipped over to Side B.
The stylus moves across to the outer groove of Side B and I'm watching our son use a scarf as a winch cable for his car carry case. He loves his cars so much. Ok, so the start of 'United States Of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage)', is very low key compared to the start of the record. The song comes to life similar to a Queen song and reminds me of a Broadway style big production. This track is also a reference to the novel, 1984 as Big Brother would always say that Oceania were at war with Eurasia, they've always been at war with Eurasia one day. The next they would say Eastasia instead. I like the use of piano and change of sound again on this album. Muse have such a varied sound and have been influenced by classical music, which you can tell, just by the composition and use of string instruments. I didn't realise that there is the added song at the end called (+Collateral Damage), which reminds me of credits music from a classic movie. The song ends with the sound of a plane flying overhead and before you know it, the last song on Side B is playing.
'Guiding Light' sounds more like a mood setting filler song. It isn't trying too hard and wasn't really a standout on the album due to the strong songs around it. I like the slowness of the bass guitar and it pretty much takes over the song other than Bellamy's vocals. Side B comes to an end and that means time to take a coffee break or drinks break.
Have you ever heard a better use of church organ in a song? Well it could be argued that the band Ghost have but this track, 'Unnatural Selection' is a long song that brings the jamming feeling back. I think of Queens of the Stone Age whilst listening along to this one and even 70's, 80's style rock. The guitar riff and bass chord are almost melded together and I found myself bopping along a lot on this track. "Counter balance this commotion. We're not droplets in the ocean". Just when you think this song is coming to an end, it has a blues inspired drawn out middle of the song that really makes this track stand out. If you want a song with high energy, 'Unnatural Selection' is the track for you. So much is going on in this song and at one stage I thought Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix were playing guitar alongside Muse. The ending has hints of NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) style guitar riffing and fits seamlessly into the beginning of the mega hit, 'MK Ultra'.
If you thought the artwork and colours on the first record sleeve were good, then take a look at the one of LP2. Really effective and I can see why this album was given the award for best album artwork in 2009. 'MK Ultra' was the code name for a CIA project that basically involved mind control. It is a strong song with powerful guitar riffs that pulled me in straight away. Probably my second favourite song on the album right now and I like the lyrics of, "How much deception can you take?, How many lies will you create?". Side C rolls into my favourite song on the album, 'I Belong To You'.
'I Belong To You (+Mon Coeur S'ovre A Ta Voix)', reminds me of a soul / spooky hybrid of a song. I think it is because of the jazz and 60's style that 'I Belong To You' really stays in my mind. Once again Muse have pushed the boundaries of their sound and the middle of this song is sung in French by Bellamy. Think of black and white movies and ballroom scenes and you will get into this song a lot more. The bass clarinet solo is also a special moment and I just can't put my finger on what other song this one reminds me of right now. The song reverts back to the start in order to wind up Side C and now its time to flip the LP over.
'The Resistance' by Muse could finish right then and there and be regarded as an instant classic album in Alternative rock. Instead, Muse have decided to treat us to a three part symphony of sound. I didn't know a lot about this before looking up online but Bellamy wanted to have an orchestra of roughly 40 musicians to help tell the story of humanity leaving Earth behind. On 'Exogenesis: Symphony Part 1 (Overture)',I can hear a lot of Pink Floyd within this opening and enjoying the experience.
The piano work of 'Exogenesis: Symphony Part 2 (Cross-Pollination)', now comes through the Marshall Woburn II speaker and feels like they should play this live towards the end of their show. I think it would work really well but I guess it wouldn't be very easy getting all the orchestra to travel with them. This part has a heavier sound and acts as the soundtrack for the last hope for humanity. Once again there is so much going on on this song and the soft piano sounds of 'Exogenesis: Symphony Part 3 (Redemption)' can now be heard.
This one is a sad track when you first hear Bellamy and the sounds of the Orchestra playing. It has a slight uplift all of a sudden and you can tell the exact moment that it changes from sad, to a song of acceptance. "Let's start over again. Just let us start it over again. Why can't we start it over again and we'll be good. This time we'll get it right, last chance to forgive ourselves". 'Exogenesis: Symphony Part 3 (Redemption)', is the realisation section of where humanity knows that even if they move to another planet, it will just happen again. At this point the music returns to the feeling of overall sadness and is very powerful. It is so simple, yet so complex as the stylus lifts and returns to the cradle, leaving us needing more. I'm so appreciative of bands that push boundaries because good or bad, that is the process of growth. Muse have succeeded with their growth by including 'Exogenesis: Symphony on Side D and I am contemplating spinning Side D again right now.
Thanks for coming along for the musical journey with us and hope that you enjoyed our 34th Spin - Muse - 'The Resistance'. This record has a special place in our lives as I have mentioned before and really hope that you add this one to your collection. As always, get involved on our social pages and our MWSP which is released each and every Wednesday at 4:50PM. Keep finding the time each week for yourself , whether that is yoga, walking, baking, catching up with friends or even learning an instrument. Just make sure that you do something positive for yourself. Night Kat Kiz and I will catch you all next week for an bonafide classic album!
Until our next Spin, be Kind to your muse and be Kind to your Wax!