When it comes to rock bands, most people yearn for the role of leader. On the surface, it seems like the most enjoyable job in the world if all you do is sing the lyrics to the songs, play with your bandmates, and basically be the ringleader of a big music party. However, real professionals know how to keep your attention even without a real singer.
Over the years, bands often get tired of playing the vocalist’s abilities over and over again. Although the instrumental cut is normally reserved for the album filler half the time, these acts were able to make these interlude-style tracks feel like major events on the record.
Instead of staying inside the conventional song structure, this is where we see musicians really flex their chops, whether it’s behind the fretboard or a completely different instrument.
Even though most of them remain confined to hard rock, many of the more adventurous tracks show these acts stepping out of their comfort zone and completely changing their style. No matter what kind of challenge you throw at them, there’s bound to be something interesting going on without you even realizing it.
Lyrics can help, but these melodies are so good you have no words to sing along to.
There’s probably a subset of Muse fans who like to imagine that the 2nd Law doesn’t really exist. Despite the presence of fantastic Muse tracks like Supremacy in its ranks, the more dubstep-influenced sound raised some eyebrows from fans who preferred the band’s early outright rock and roll. While it’s hard not to see something like the title track’s Unsustainable section as a product of the era, Isolated System is where things start to get fascinating.
Instead of the usual nasty medleys of electronic music in the mix, this is where the synthetic pads get a bit more tasteful, as the song plays over news footage of what happens when the energy in one place can be dangerous if not controlled properly. Set to incredible drum programs and electronic enhancements, this type of track lets the idea of chaos sink in, as the aftermath of everything closes in around you.
While the first iteration of this track was all about hitting you in the head with the destruction that comes from unchecked energy, this is where we see the resulting carnage, where the energy dies out only to come back again if you’re not careful.
While Muse can get plenty of Radiohead comparisons, this kind of Kid A-style backing track is still a trip to listen to. In case you missed the 2nd Law out of dubstep ignorance, try this one to see what a MIDI instrument can really do.