Muse - Drones

IN a career spanning 20 years, Muse have gone from being champions of the alternative rock scene to a kind of space rock opera act.

While the Devon band's early work was inspired by everything from Radiohead to Rage Against The Machine there was a strange transition around the time of their fourth album, Black Holes and Revelations.

The trio began to sound like Queen recording a Doctor Who soundtrack in the wild west...or something like that.

The following two records were even more grandiose and while you cannot fault Muse's ambition their new sound polarised fans.

But new album Drones seems to set the record straight.

While it may not quite be a return to their roots, the CD strikes a balance between the heavy guitar riffs and experimental flourishes.

Singles 'Dead Inside' and 'Psycho' are as different as they are appealing. 'Dead Inside' features great drum work and an electro rock sound which builds and builds.

'Psycho' is more of a nod to the Muse of old with an incredibly catchy riff which actually began life as a riff the band have been using to close their live shows for 16 years

Two of the best album tracks are Reapers and The Handler which again combine heavy rock with the likes of disco and glam rock influences.

It makes for a strange and intriguing record that rewards extra listens and proves that Muse still have a few surprises up their sleeves after selling 17 million albums.

Drones is a concept album too with the themes of indoctrination, oppression and the impact of warfare on both a human and state level explored throughout.

Recommended – especially for Muse's old fans who have recently given the band a wide berth.