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Muse - Showbiz 2LP
Warner Music Group
The musical touchstone for the British trio Muse is obviously Radiohead and that fact is crystal clear from the smoldering opening cut, "Sunburn." Their John Leckie-produced debut, Showbiz, is strong on angst-filled vocals, esoteric lyrics, and dramatic shifts in sonic dynamics. Hailing from rural England, singer/guitarist Matthew Bellamy, bassist Chris Wolstenholme, and drummer Dominic Howard average 20 years of age, so there's plenty of potential for them to grow into a sound that is more of their own. In the meantime, Bellamy does an impressive job of aping the quirky, nervous vocal tic of Thom Yorke on songs like the mid-tempo, Mellotron-driven "Muscle Museum," and he cuts loose vocally on the soaring "Cave" and on the lovely, mournful ballad "Unintended." Showbiz hints at the potential in this young band, and it should be of interest to many Radiohead fans.