By Oliver Butler (@notoliverbutler)
The blessing and, indeed, curse with being a Muse fan is that you never exactly know which band is going to show up. On the one hand, you might get the symphonic aggression soundtracking a battle in a far away galaxy, or you might get something that’s like your Conservative voting auntie: extremely hard to get on with. In the case of brand new single Dig Down, you’re going to have to spend the next four or so minutes listening to your auntie complain about poor people.
The song bears a striking resemblance to 2012’s synthy love song Madness off The 2nd Law, which was okay-ish. Whilst live performances, time and reluctant acceptance that it’s an okay song have helped to age that song, it’s still one of the lesser songs Muse have offered over their decorated career.
Much like it’s mad cousin, Dig Down is a synth heavy song, with most of the song purely relying on the heavy bass synth and electronic drums, with Matt Bellamy‘s guitar only kicking in with a bastardised Queen solo towards the end of the song. Which Queen solo has been bastardised is unknown, but actually getting Brian May to play the solo would have given this song some more credibility, and taken his mind off of the poor badgers. Whilst the song is something different, it’s not too far away from any synth-based song that Muse produce, and is as mentioned above, incredibly similar to Madness.
Despite being an underwhelming single from a yet-to-be-announced, yet-to-be-titled upcoming album, the lyrical theme is very on the pulse in Dig Down, something that Matt Bellamy has been very good at throughout the years. In a time where we’re dealing with Brexit, Trump, Impending Nuclear Holocaust and Oh Fuck No Five More Years of the Fucking Tories, this song acts as a sombre call to arms, one where we can, yes, Dig Down and find a way, face the firing squad, against all the odds. It’s a very relevant and topical song from a lyrical point of view at least.
Is this song a bad song? No, not at all: it’s something different, but it feels a little underwhelming, as if it’s been half-finished. Seeing as Drones came out just over two years ago, there’s no real expectation for Muse to be releasing new material, and it feels like they could have spent a little longer on this song to make it that little better. Whilst Muse arguably hit their peak around 2006’s Black Holes and Revelations, the weight of their stardom should allow them to spend a bit more time on writing and recording, but Dig Down feels a bit rushed and a bit underwhelming. Whilst ‘Musers’ such as matt_bellamys_codpiece and domhowardshagmyarse will undoubtedly declare this song to be a masterpiece, this song will fail to draw in lapsed fans who fell off the wagon around the Black Holes era.