Panic Station: Have Muse Recorded The Maddest Song Of 2012?
You think you've heard everything about Muse's new album? Not even close.
'Panic Station' is, without any shadow of doubt, the strangest song of the year.
On its first play in the DIY offices, it stopped all work. Not out of awe, you understand - though there was a certain kind of slack jawed amazement going around. It's quite simply mad. Some laughed so hard they almost fell out of their chairs. One poor sod looked like they may burst in to tears.
Kind of funk, it isn't what anyone would expect from Muse. Not that anyone really knows what they're going to get from Bellamy and co these days, but it definitely isn't this. Almost certainly a million miles from serious, it's so camp that the Scissor Sisters would probably turn it down for being a bit too much. It's the sound of Muse's miniature frontman prancing around in a posing pouch (if you can stomach such an image - Ed), drenched in Old Spice. There's a drum beat that starts off like 'Under Pressure', a keyboard sound that we're pretty sure our first £40 Casio had as default and a promise that, if they ever make Beverly Hills Cop 4, they'll call back about a soundtrack.
It could well be the worst song of the year. It could also, quite unbelievably, in some ways be one of the best. The critical roulette wheel is spinning so hard it's impossible to know where it will land. Is it so bad it's amazing? Is it just plain terrible? Is it actually so much fun that it's legitimately good? At least it's, y'know, interesting. Did Justin Hawkins have anything to do with it (it certainly has hints of The Darkness' extreme take on a musical genre, after all)? One thing's for sure; if anyone tries to tell you Muse want to be Radiohead ever again, there's a ready made answer. If Thom Yorke did anything like this, the 'Lotus Flower' dance would look tame in comparison.
Once you've heard it - the actual, fully realised recorded version - no other music is the same. At track three, you may as well turn off 'The 2nd Law' until you've had a stiff drink and a lie down - everything that follows is tainted by musical shell shock. There's a live video of the band debuting the song on the road below. It's not even 1/10th what you're in for this October. Take it in - some of us are off for a spot of counselling.