Won’t Stand Down by Muse
By Ron Powers
UK rock band Muse is back with a heavyweight gem called “Won’t Stand Down”. The song delivers the band’s Radiohead-meets-Metallica signature sound and explodes with defiant punk rock lyrics delivered with operatic and inspiring melodies. It’s the sort of song you listen to while lifting weights or when you need to get pumped up for a ray gun fight in space. Muse mixes elements of metal, classical, and theatrical rock to create a sound that is unlike any band before them. In a music scene that is producing an extraordinary meager amount of good rock-n-roll, Muse stands as a stronghold for the rock gods to be channeled through. Let’s hope it inspires some young hearts to carry the torch into the future.
“Won’t’ Stand Down” sets the stage with a brief ambient pad sound along with a plucked string melody that has a touch of spookiness to it. This is quickly followed by a sonic hammer composed of blown-out guitar, bass, and kick drum that makes you feel like electricity is pulsing in your head. Between these heavy blasts of sound, we hear a slow and steady beat decorated with clean and icy guitar chords. For the first verse singer, Matt Bellamy delivers the empowering lines… “I never believed that I would concede / And let someone trample on me / You strung me along, / I thought I was strong / But you were just gaslighting me / I’ve opened my eyes and counted the lies / And now it is clearer to me / You are just a user and an abuser / Living vicariously”.
After the first verse, most of the music drops out leaving a biting guitar riff with a touch of flanger
effect witch swoops into a head-bobbing breakdown. It’s easy to imagine a stadium of loyal Muse followers with their hand-horns held high during this brief section. The band’s playing is airtight and the sonic value created, when the bass, drums, and guitar mix together, is unparalleled. I particularly enjoy the polished class and elegance that Muse exudes while delivering some of the most aggressive music in pop culture.
For the chorus of “Won’t Stan Down”, Muse delivers what feels like a superhero flying into battle. The guitar and bass work together with an ascending chord progression while synth strings follow the notes with a powerful and inspiring lead line. Aggressive drums add additional firepower as the chorus builds to a fever pitch. On top of all this, we hear a soaring melody along with scathing yet empowering lyrics. All of this crescendos into a post-chorus breakdown that is sure to send mosh pits around the world into a frenzy.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Europe this summer, I highly recommend grabbing a ticket for one of the shows Muse will be performing on their European tour. Tickets for the shows are on sale now at muse.mu. If you’d like to listen to “Won’t Stand Down” or any of the amazing music Muse makes, you can find it on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and most other places music is streamed or sold. If you’d like to learn more about muse you can find them on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.
About the Author: Ron Powers is an independent A&R specialist and music industry consultant and is constantly searching for, discovering and writing about new talent.