Credit: MuseThe Olympic Games are meant to be epic. Tales of grandeur, bravery, and unthinkable feats of athletic prowess are expected. So given this year’s London locale, Muse is the obvious choice to compose the competition’s official theme music. The result is “Survival,” a song that thrives on the audacity inherent in the Games:

And I’ll reveal my strength
To the whole human race
Yes I am prepared
To stay alive
I won’t forgive, the vengeance is mine

The song is built on typical Muse production techniques: pounding drums, a backing choir, screaming guitars, and of course that falsetto for the crescendo. There’s no surprises here, and little subtlety in the desired effect – something even more true of the lyrics:

Race, it’s a race
But I’m gonna win
Yes I’m gonna win
I will light the fuse
I’ll never lose

Muse have always thrived on a style of operatics unashamedly influenced by Queen. The band doesn’t change course here, but adopts a straight-ahead approach that avoids any possible confusion in the song’s message while sacrificing the thematic complexity of Freddy and crew. Like the competitors in the video the IOC has released, Muse make no attempt to persuade, but rather stubbornly work to overpower with tenacity. It’s far more shot-put than synchronized swimming, but it is most certainly Olympic.