By Quinn McGovern ’12 &
Kevin Cabano ’12
“The Noise” is a new feature in The Roundup created as a forum for all things music.
Every month writers Quinn McGovern ’12 and Kevin Cabano ’12 will review bands, new songs or emerging artists.
Is there a Brophy band you would like to see reviewed? E-mail your suggestions to The Noise at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Muse album may be front man’s crowning achievement
For those of you who haven’t been exposed to what Muse has done over the last 10 years or so, Muse consists of three main members; Matt Bellamy on lead vocals, guitar, and piano, Chris Wolstenholme on bass and Dominic Howard playing the drums.
They originated in Devon, England and after they started to become semi-popular, they changed their name from Rocket Baby Dolls to a more serious one; Muse.
From the beginning they offered much sheer power in most of their works, which seemed to especially show in their second album (my personal favorite) “Origin of Symmetry.”
The reason I chose to talk about Muse was because their work serves as a major defining moment in the progression of music in both the sound as well as how it is produced.
Some musicians may argue that music loses its identity as more technology is used. This argument is something I don’t believe but one that could certainly be applied to Matt Bellamy, Muse’s frontman.
Bellamy took a Manson guitar and added many kill switches and sustainers on the body to affect and sustain created sound. He also implanted a small touch screen “Kaoss” pad which he used to control effects on the sounds he makes as well as operate stage lights and lasers at the ridiculous live shows they perform.
Muse fans can recognize them from miles when they hear the incredibly loud and raucous songs that have a sound similar to that of U2 meets Dépêche Mode.
Much of what they do is similar to that of the distorted and powerful methods of music making from both rock pioneers like Jimi Hendrix and also epic classical composers such as Rachmaninoff or Beethoven.
The unique thing about the album is the three part symphony at the end that I would like to think is Bellamy’s crowning achievement.
Muse of course is sharing this album all across North America this spring and you can catch them in the US Airways Center April 9.
Key Album: Black Holes and Revelations, 2006
Key Songs: “Knights of Cydonia,” “Starlight,” “New Born,” “Uprising”
Van Halen reunited with David Lee Roth, world tour on the horizon
Van Halen is a hard rock band that formed in the early 1970s in Pasadena, Cali.
Their classic lineup – brothers Eddie (guitar) and Alex (drums) Van Halen, David Lee Roth (vocals) and Mike Anthony (bass) – rose to fame in the late 70s and early 80s with their energetic, talented playing, producing hit songs such as “Runnin’ With the Devil” and “Jump.”
As successful as the band was, a sort of rivalry between Roth and Eddie grew as the years went by, nearly peaking with the album “1984,” which had a much more mainstream sound than their previous work.
By 1985 Roth had enough and left the band. The band had no intention of stopping, so they immediately began searching for a new singer to replace Roth, and finally found Sammy Hagar, who had already had a successful career both as a solo artist and in the band Montrose.
Hagar brought his pop influences into the songwriting of the group, further pushing Van Halen into the commercial fold.
The band, sometimes referred to as “Van Hagar” due to nearly sounding like an entirely different band than with Roth, released hit songs such as “Dreams” and “Right Now,” both of which featured prominent piano and keyboards as opposed to the guitar-based rock of their early days.
In the mid-’90s Sammy left the band. Van Halen tried a third singer, Gary Cherone of Extreme, but failed to sell well with the album they released with him.
Cherone left the band on friendly terms in the late 90s. Since then, no new Van Halen music has been released save for a few songs, but the band reunited with Hagar in 2004 for a tour. However, this ended badly and Hagar left the band for the final time.
In 2007, the group announced that David Lee Roth had rejoined the band, and Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang would now play bass. They embarked on a hugely successful reunion tour in 2007-2008, and have plans to tour again in the next few years, with possible new music on its way.
Key Album: Van Halen, 1978
Key Songs: “Hot For Teacher,” “On Fire,” “Jump,” “Unchained,” “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”