Mike McLatchey    28-August-2002 s/t + Out of Water

Men Of Lake are another Italian contemporary that embraces the 70s sound. After releasing two tapes privately, Musea released Men Of Lake aka Riva (Musea FGBG 4047) as an LP and CD. Men Of Lake have likened themselves to Cressida and other early British bands, and while their Hammond based sound does have the same sound or feel as Gracious, Cressida, Indian Summer and the like, it seems that much of the depth and complexity of those bands didn't make the transition. All composing, keyboards, and vocals are handled by one Maurizio Poli who seems to be the driving force and frontman, keeping the music very straightforward and lackluster. His voice tends to be grating and the music tends to go nowhere over the course of the album. Riva mostly tends to songs with repetitive and simple chord sequences and overall lacks any adventurous qualities. The last album by the band I checked out was their third, Out Of The Water (Musea FGBG 4095), and it also did little to excite me. Unfortunately, little has progressed since their Musea debut, and while I am a fan of this early 70s, organ-led sound (I'd be the first to celebrate this if it was really good), the dodgy vocals, mundane songs, and lack of any instrumental fire relegates this to the mediocre section.

(originally reviewed as part of The New Italian Progressive Rock Scene - Part 2, Exposť #4, p. 11, Edited for Gnosis 4/28/01)

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