Critics who are quick to dismiss the U.K. rock trio Muse as "Radiohead rip-offs" would certainly say that this rock band did some deep thinking, absorbed Radiohead's songwriting style into its thoughts, and simply put a new name on the record. If you're wise, though, you won't make such a hasty judgment. While at times Muse's sound does resemble that of Radiohead, the band has a style all its own: blistering hard rock that often blends haunting piano melodies and synths with ultradistorted rock-guitar riffs.
Although Muse enjoyed little success in the United States prior to the release of its third album, 2003's Absolution, all three of its official releases are platinum in the U.K. and gold in the majority of other major Western European nations. When Muse frontman Matt Bellamy sings, "Our time is running out/Can't push it underground/Can't stop it screaming out" on the band's first major U.S. single, "Time Is Running Out," you wonder whether he's referring to the disappointment of short-lived success, of constantly flying under the radar. Muse is part of MTV's Campus Invasion Tour at at Kent State's Manchester Field, so you have a chance to discover what U.S. rock enthusiasts and major publications are only now beginning to appreciate.