As the start of a regular new feature, DiS provokes debate on Muse. National treasure, or overblown theatre-merchants?
Regardless of your take on the band, it would be short-sighted to claim Muse have had anything but a huge impact on music in the last five years.
From the endless Radiohead comparisons associated with the first LP, Showbiz, (was I only the person who couldn't see them?) through to the ever-mounting histrionics of their following full-length efforts, Origin of Symmetry and Absolution, Muse have always divided critics and listeners.
With the release of their fourth studio album now growing ever-closer, it's most definitely time to play devil's advocate and ask, Are Muse the most important band of our generation?.
Few bands can claim to have made their space-facing and at times completely schizophrenic rock a mainstream proposition and a genuinely inventive band to be selling a good deal of albums is something to savour. Many wilt at the prospect of their overblown stage shows and few can deny that the often ludicrous scale of their recorded work has a tendency to scare people away, but doing this and still being one of the biggest bands in the world is surely a unique property?
Having spent a good few hours with their new album, Black Holes and Revelations, I think it's fair to say that Muse have produced the best work of their careers to date and rasied a bar for British bands to scale towards. It must be noted that I say this, having shied away from their last two long-players after extended periods attempting to embrace them.
So, do Muse have the capacity to be labelled the most important band of our generation, or will Radiohead forever hold the crown? If not, who is? Before you answer, just try and remember the last big radio hit that Oxford's finest produced; then, try and get away from Muse's 'Supermassive Black Hole' on the radio today. Being important isn't just about the acclaim of the indie elite, it's about being vital and adored by the masses.