My Muse – Para Lia (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If Hawk Hill seemed like a bit of a shimmering, ever-changing musical gemstone, one which exploded with different cascades of sonic colour depending on which way you held it up to the light, My Muse seems to be a more focused affair. It echoes with so many past references from my formative years. The rush of The Mission as they began to cross the goth/rock divide, the raw primal energy of New Model Army as they explored their windswept sound and the same sure-footed dance of power and poise that The Cult did so well.

But having said that, the only thing that it really sounds like is Para Lia. You can see where they are coming from but, as always, music should be a sound crafted by where a band is going. And so this is. This is the sound of the rock alternative and the essence of the gothic culture of yore coalescing into a foot-on-the-monitor, fist-in-the-air, anthemic groove doing its bit to ensure that rock music has a bright future along the way.

And for all this talk of rock and roll moves, there is also something wonderfully melodic about My Muse. Not quite pop but at least pop-aware and it is that understanding, that ability to embrace the swing and the snap of pop music and apply it to a heavy sound, that keeps everything from crossing the line into the place where all those earnest rock stalwarts begin to take themselves too seriously.

Sitting somewhere between the swing of rock and roll, the driving groove of rock and the accessibility and melodic brushstrokes of pop, My Muse seems to exist at a perfect point on the musical Venn Diagram.

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