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The Forgotten Tracks: Muse's Later B-Sides

Content Warning: Language



Welcome back to aMUSEings, the series where we take a look at each of Muse's nine albums. Previously, we looked at the early Muse B-Sides. Many of those tracks predated Showbiz, releasing in the late 1990's. After this era, Muse wouldn't release nearly as many B-Sides with their newer albums. There are a few exceptions however, which is what we will be taking a look at today. Compared to the Origin of Symmetry era songs, these later tracks are far less popular and well known. That being said, let's take a look at some more Muse songs that didn't quite make it onto their studio albums. 

Most of these B-Sides and Hidden Tracks come from Black Holes and Revelations, with the Supermassive Collection featuring a couple of these songs. Others were included as part of a second disk to The Resistance. While Muse's Golden Era was the early 2000's, the Black Holes era is my personal favorite. So with that, let's dive into the late 2000's era of Muse's B-Sides. 


Crying Shame: Kicking things off, Crying Shame definitely has the vibe of Black Holes and Revelations. It's a bit more upbeat, with a guitar riff and drums that almost sound like surf rock. The vocals from Matt aren't anything crazy. He's singing in his lower register, with no distortion to be found. The bass from Wolstenholme, while looped, has a funky feel to it. A pretty average Muse song, which makes sense why it wasn't included on the main album. It was the B-Side to Supermassive Black Hole after all. The main unique element is the lyrics, being one of only four Muse songs to contain swearing. "Too much, we demolish too much. And we've really fucked it up. Yeah baby you lost your touch." After that second verse, Bellamy finishes the song with some falsetto notes. Nothing too crazy with Crying Shame, but a solid track if you're looking for more Black Holes and Revelations Muse. 


Debase Mason's Grog: We've technically already looked at this song during a previous review. This is the early version of Assassin. If you rearrange the letters, you get Dom's Arse Goes Bang, referring to the difficulty of the drums. The main difference in the two songs is the bass and drums. The drum part has even more going on than Assassin, with more fills and triplets covering the space. The bass and guitar are darker, more metal inspired. The two songs are almost identical in overall structure, with the major difference being the bridge between choruses. This bridge is one of my favorite sections of a Muse song ever. Fast paced high notes transition into a slower section, with some epic guitar work from Bellamy. The added lyrics are also awesome. "They'll try to steal your life, so watch your back. You're not alone, but you must actualize the first attack." Then it transitions back into the main section of Assassin, with a driving drum beat behind the main riff. One more drum fill brings the song into the second verse, completing the bridge. Short, sweet, to the point, and epic. The lyrics for each verse are also changed up slightly, following the same pattern but with different words. With Debase Mason's Grog being from early 2005, you can definitely hear the influences of early Muse. Heavier drums and guitar, with an absolutely rocking bass. The only recordings of this version are live, although a later edit known as the Grand Omega Bosses remix would be released. This included the bridge section, although the heavier elements were not included. This early live version of Assassin is raw Muse, and is just a treat to listen to. 


You Funky Motherfucker: As you can probably guess by the title, another meme song from Muse. This one is only thirty one seconds long, and features some fun elements. Instead of drums, Dom is wailing away on a cowbell for the entire track. Matt is screaming obscenities in falsetto, with Chris following his vocals on bass. Officially known as Hidden Track included on the Starlight DVD, You Funky Motherfucker is probably the most interesting song the band have released. 


Soaked: We're going deep with this one. A track that technically isn't even a B-Side and was never publicly released by Muse. The only way to listen is a few fan uploaded videos on YouTube after the song was leaked online. As for the track itself, Soaked begins with a strong piano intro. The band described the riff as similar to those of Elton John, specifically Nikita. After the intro, Matt begins his gorgeous singing. No falsetto, nothing too low, just an amazing, heartfelt tone to his voice. Vocally, Soaked is very similar to songs from The Resistance, which is around the time it was recorded. The song consists of some simple drumming from Howard and limited bass work from Wolstenholme. Muse adds a bit more complexity during the bridge, with some strings and electric guitar on top of the piano, but overall the song remains fairly simple. The vibe is definitely a combination of Black Holes and Revelations, The Resistance, and Drones. As one of the least known Muse songs, Soaked is a great example of the hidden gems this band has in their catalog. 


Neutron Star Collision: Getting the obvious out of the way, Neutron Star Collision was one of the songs included in the Twilight movies. As such, it is very controversial among Muse fans. Some believe the song is too cheesy to be good, while others are fine and think more highly of the track. Personally, I'm split down the middle. I enjoy the song from time to time, but I can definitely see where some fans are coming from with their criticism. With Matt soloing on the piano and vocals for the intro, the song definitely starts strong. As a love ballad, Neutron Star Collision is pretty solid for a Muse love song. The over the top electric guitar and lyrics give the track a unique setting among the rest of Muse's discography. The solo is also one of my favorites from the band. Bellamy goes all out on the guitar, with a short and sweet emotionally charged solo. With more piano to close it out, the song ends on an emotional note with some singing from Matt. 


Since the release of The Resistance, Muse have released very few B-Sides and hidden tracks. None of these songs were performed live, and it would be hard to rank them as the four were included in separate collections. 


These songs will wrap up the little detour back in time we have taken. Next time will be a return to studio albums, with a look at Simulation Theory. Until then, cheers. 

 

Sources:

"Soaked (song). MuseWiki, January 13th, 2022


Bio:

Austin Eide is currently a junior at Poudre High School. This will be his first year writing for the Poudre Press. He enjoys playing trumpet in the Pep Band and is also Captain of the Build Team for 159 Alpine Robotics. Austin also loves building with LEGO and making stop-motion movies on YouTube. His blog is dedicated to music, hockey, band, and more!



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