Muse – Survival (single) (Warner Bros. Records)
‘Survival’ – the official song for the London 2012 Olympics – was debuted today (June 27, 2012) during Zane Lowe’s program on BBC 1 Radio.
The word ‘massive’ simply wouldn’t do the justice explaining the sheer enormity of the song. Opening with a grand piano and what sounds like a 40+ piece string section, ‘Survival’ continues very much in the formula of the material found on the album’s 2010 studio album, ‘The Resistance’, but even bigger (if that’s even possible).
Whether featured in a West End/Broadway musical or the Olympics, one thing is for certain, ‘Survival’ is made for a world stage.
The cinematic opening gives way to a Queen-style piano ditty. The drums hold a steady, simple rhythm for the duration of the song allowing the guitars and bass to take front stage and go crazy. And go crazy, they do.
The most interesting thing about this song is the fact that it does not feature a chorus and instead moves around several sections, heavily made up with guitar solos.
With a somewhat typical and familiar sounding vocal melody, even if it is own, Matt Bellamy’s voice sounds equally as monstrous in size. Lyrics are suitably apt for the Olympics based around striving and winning.
The guitar sounds are simply immense including some detuned, nu-metal riffs showing the heaviest side of Muse this side of ‘Citizen Erased’.
After the initial vocal verse, the song is purely instrumental for the next 90 seconds or so, boasting guitar solos left and right. During the second “verse” (remembering there is no actual chorus as such), Matt returns to the mic, vocally almost playing a character – somewhere between Serj from ‘System of A Down’ and a stage opera.
As with ‘The Resistance’ at times there is certainly an absurdity to Muse, sometimes treading the line of a ‘Spinal-Tap’ type parody, but the truth is it just adds to the enormity of the band’s sound and vision.
‘Survival’ is a fun and indulgent ride for both band and listener and a taste of even bigger (dubstep?) things to come…