Moriaty - The Devil's Child (Saucy Cant Records) 
Moriaty - The Devil's Child

Duos are pretty popular on the music scene these days, that's an accepted fact now, but rarely has a duo come along with such honesty, passion and raw desire to make music as can be seen in Devon two-piece Moriaty. Jordan West and Matthew Partridge, for they are the melody and rhythm of Moriaty respectively, have forged their way through a number of different bands and line-ups to find themselves left with no better option than to link arms and run head first off the pier. 'The Devil's Child' is the resultant album and everyone should stop what you're doing, put down the guns and listen in because this, this right here, is what gets me out of bed in the morning: exciting new music*.

The album opens with the tense, atmospheric strains of 'Belding' which starts like Rage Against The Machine, morphs in to The Black Keys and ends up like an early Muse wig-out. Former single 'Esperanza' is up next, introduced by what appears to be one of the old duffers from the Wonga adverts having a rant about the youth of today, and it is a real rock'n'roll stomper. West knows his way around a big, chunky riff and has a vocal range that can go from intense, under his breath mutterings to head thrown back screaming in the blink of a mischievous eye.  Kelly Louise Naish lends her vocal abilities to 'Venus Fly Trap' as Moriaty arrive at a place somewhere between the Black Keys, White Stripes, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and vintage Kaiser Chiefs. Call it peaking too early if you will but track four is possibly my favourite on the album as 'Jealous MF' is a twelve bar blues at 100 miles an hour romp that has a chorus just begging to be shouted back at the stage by sweaty gig goers the length and breadth of the country - "Don't try to understand me, don't fall down at my feet, cos a woman like you is far too pretty for a dog-gone, dead-beat, jealous Motherfucker like me", as you asked.

They can only come in if you invite them over the threshold 
What I love about Moriaty is their ability to switch from fun and flippant to dark and moody without losing any of the integrity of passion. A perfect example is the transition in to the fabulous dark country rock of 'Dhamer Blues' that features snippets of the infamous Jeffrey Dhamer and the wonderfully malevolent line "If a person doesn't think there is a good to be accountable to then what's the point of trying to modify your behaviour to keep it within acceptable ranges". 'The Devil's Child Part 1' is a two minute interlude of lazy guitars and shuffling drums with a looped vocal which leads in to 'No. 7', a snarling beast of a song that features one of my new favourite lyrics "I rise for your eyes, they're like heaven, all bad boys they come from Devon". The album takes a reflective moment on 'Goodbye Love' as some gently twanging guitar notes and Richard Hawley style song writing  shows off a more thoughtful side to the band and Matthew Partridge is allowed more space to show off his drumming range.

The final third of the album starts with 'If' which is the famous Rudyard Kipling poem set to a swaggering, jerking guitar riff with blues at its heart. Partridge tries his hand at lyricism on the Noel Gallagher-esque acoustic strum of 'Move On', a touching ode to moving on through various cities and lifestyles that is possibly the only song in existence to feature the line "I don't give a fuck-a-doodle-doo". 'House Of Hell' is an almost cartoonish take on rock'n'roll debauchery which should be included on the soundtrack of a remake of any 80s houseparty family - Animal House for example. The album closes up with 'The Devil's Child Part 2' and the dirty, sleazy, gold toothed slide guitar just reeks of swamp gas and moonshine as it swaggers in through the saloon doors just looking for trouble. Moriaty's beauty is in the unpigeonholeability (yes, it is a word) of their music which could see them slip easily in to any line up on the rock, indie, blues or alternative spectrum. Makes me proud to be a Devonian.

*There is often an unavoidable need to pee as well but I can't hold Moriaty responsible for that.

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Live Dates:

25th July - Lansdowne, Dawlish
2nd August - Kingston Festival, Plymouth
15th August - The Royal Inn, Par
17th August - Hannah's Festival, Newton Abbot
22nd August - Waynestock, Gwinear

5th September - Barrel House, Totnes