For a band that have produced videos featuring cowboys on Mars, teddy bears taking down western civilisation and themselves rocking out on an empty aircraft carrier, Muse‘s new effort is a rather subdued affair.
Rather than another planet or Washowski-esque cityscape, the band find themselves in a dusty warehouse clad in Mad Max cast-offs. There’s so much dust, in fact, that any guitar techs watching might suffer a mild hernia worrying about the condition of the instruments used.
It rains off Dom Howard’s drum kit like flour from an exploding bakery, blinding a pained looking Matt Bellamy and caking the previously perennially bald Chris Wolstenholme’s newly sprouted mop like a fine layer of snow. Come to think of it, it might not even be dust. They might just have decided to film in Kings Of Leon’s dressing room after a particularly wild after-party.
Meanwhile there is dancing. Not good times dancing, scary dancing. The gender politics of humanity are reimagined as a well-muscled raider from Borderlands and a grown up version of the girl from The Exorcist, who proceed to dance-fight their way around this underground desert like two Brazilian kids disputing the ownership of a quality boombox. Except, you know, they’re both being puppeteered by the Satan of romance.
It’s never quite clear if the dance is a metaphor for unrequited love, sexual assault or some peverse combination of the two. Either way, the supple talent of dancers Will B. Wingfield & Kathryn McCormick is enticing to watch. Director Robert Hales combines the song and dance admirably, the synth squall breaks and ketamine-pop verse underpinning the visual performance perfectly.
The problems with the video can be found with the track itself, which goes altogether too U2-y for its final quartile. It’s here that the minimalism of the video starts to disassociate itself from the music, as Muse are obviously imagining themselves back on the HMS Starlight playing before a chorus of anthemic fireworks. Bono only got covered in dust when he went to single-handedly save Mozambique from uber-mosquitoes, so I don’t know what Muse think they’re doing.