The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world









You hear a lot of good music over the course of the year and occasionally you come across something very special indeed. Mia Dyson’s new release, her fourth in all: ‘The Moment’ is just such an album.






Only occasionally these days will an album will take me off guard, but after hearing the track ‘Pistol’ I was immediately taken both by Mia’s whiskey and cigarette flavoured voice and also by her passion which is hugely evident especially in the faster paced numbers. I of course assumed that it was a merely great single and that the album surely couldn’t live up to the standard it set. I was of course quite wonderfully wrong.




Opening with a song like ‘When The Moment Comes’ you feel that you have taken a step back in time and that all the banality of popular music awash in the world today has been swept aside. Surely, I thought to myself the first time I heard it, this has to be a cover, such is the patina Mia leaves on her work: where the new seems authentic and real emotion drips from every arrangement. On face value ‘When The Moment Comes’ is a stomping, fast-paced bass and drum driven blues-laden monster of a rock song; but in context it’s more than that. It’s the hook that ensnares you for what will be an emotional and sometime bumpy, but always rewarding ride.




For an album of such consistency there is a surprising amount of variety, we travel a landscape that references blues, hard rock, Americana and also has a couple of ballads.




‘Pistol’ the second single (check out the video above) is a tale of heart-wrenching honesty that is impossible to shake, like smoke on your clothes in the days before the ban, it lingers and as it progresses, the urgency of Mia’s plea intensifies. There’s a swing and a swirling Hammond that is just timeless.      




The simplicity of ‘Tell Me’ makes for a wonderful ballad that seems adrift in a sea of loss; while the brass and piano of ‘Fill Yourself’ swings in the other direction towards real joy. It is that juxtaposition that is a large part of the real beauty of the album. The dark comes with the light and it’s that very honesty that at times can make for a slightly challenging listen.       




Deeper in ‘Outskirts of Town’ sounds like a song that Springsteen used to write, and the lone piano in the intro sets a mournful backdrop to an understated vocal that eventually rises like a choir from the dusty road.




Other tracks work for me by varying degrees: ‘Dancing On the Edge’ if anything sounds a little too polished but closes strongly; and ‘Jesse’ is a little overcast and doesn’t immediately connect. On the other hand the faster, louder ‘Cigarettes’ is another instant connection, with an almost Stones-like opening stutter before the Hammond kicks in and we drift through some amazingly emotive  guitar. The closing track ‘Two Roads’ is another song that works well, almost a meditation on where life can take us and the hopelessness we all feel when faced with decisions we can’t fathom where they will take us.




If this album conveys anything it is that sense of indomitable spirit that fights against the setbacks life throws in your path. Musically it’s at times testing but at other times, despite, or sometimes because of, the emotions conveyed, simply beautiful.




The nomination for the ARIA in the Blues and Roots category is richly deserved.




By Mark Diggins