For most of their short career, Muse have been unfairly dismissed as Radiohead copyists. Listen to the thrilling Absolution beside the torturous Hail To The Thief, however, and you'd have to conclude that it's the Devon trio who are making the better records. A strikingly self-confident collection of mini-rock operas, this is music so over-the-top, it makes The Darkness sound like a bunch of beard-stroking folkies. Matt Bellamy is clearly a young man who takes life very seriously - and his falsetto vocals and apocalyptic lyrics blend perfectly with the band's heavy metal riffs, crashing pianos and Bohemian Rhapsody-style harmonies. It is, of course, hilariously pretentious but - it's also endearingly full-blooded, brilliantly-executed and, most importantly of all, hugely entertaining. Who cares how far their tongues are wedged into their cheeks? At the very least, Muse are single-handedly proving that British indie music hasn't completely lost its sense of ambition - and for that at least, they deserve to be given the benefit of the doubt.
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