Muse – ‘Unsustainable’ sparks fanbase war.


This will be the most honest personal opinion I can give. Be prepared.

In the build-up to the Olympics closing ceremony, where a very special trio is promised to play live, The Muse fanbase is fighting a ferocious Civil war over their favourite band’s new track, ‘Unsustainable’. It may just be a mild understatement to say that the opinion was pretty divided when Muse’s 5th studio album, The Resistance was released a couple of years back; now, “The 2nd Law” is more than likely to divide the fanbase further. The NME’s foolish headline of “Muse unveil new dubstep track” doesn’t exactly deserve an award for the most accurate of headlines either.

Unsustainable‘ is quite literally a cry of woe against mankind’s obsession with continuous growth, the lack of attention to the diminishing energy left on Earth and beyond, and the combination of these two equally frightening issues making life on Earth “unsustainable” – cue angry, agitating robot voice. It seems that despite the absence of any sung lyrics – save for the speech of the newsreader – the message of the song is clear as day: humanity is in a deep, poignant swamp of an otherwise sustainable energy source.

This apocalyptic message is complimented by an (admittedly!) slightly frightening set of strings. (On a random sidenote: this album being based on Thermodynamics and me being an aspiring physicist, I do wonder whether Muse have completely overloaded on the Science Emmental by connecting String theory to this track, with the dominance of strings and all…). The element that gets hardcore fans in an outrage is the inclusion of the dubstep-like sounds of Bellamy’s guitar – NME, take note. I don’t think dubstep is what they were trying to achieve here – or so I hope – rather, the intriguing mixture of heavy guitar and strings makes for an experimental sound that Muse are so renowned for. Come on guys, this is SO Muse, and you really can’t say otherwise. Comments such as “Remember the days when Muse weren’t all about science and politics?” – Erm… Exo-Politics, Soldier’s Poem, the whole of Origin… hello?

Keeping an open mind about this track; I really do think that despite ruining an otherwise beautiful piece of music with dirty chunks of robot, Muse have entered yet another era of epic composition. Let’s just hope the rest of the album is a bit less… well, over the top. As long as this is the only track on the album that features so much dubwub, there is still hope that instrumentally, our heroes aren’t yet lost. I hope. For now, let’s just watch the video and hope we survive.


‘The 2nd Law’ is released on 1st October 2012.

Official website