Magnificent Love Child Of Enforced Hiatus
The Die Is Cast
This long awaited second album from Devon’s finest rock duo has been touted as ‘the softer side’ of Moriaty, but their legions of rock fans can rest easy as the electrifying guitar riffs and sizzingly sweaty drum beats remain the backbone of (almost) every track.
Life, love and bereavement have meant a delay of six years between the first and second album releases, but perhaps the high quality and rich diversity of The Die Is Cast is the magnificent love child of that enforced and difficult hiatus. Just when we thought Moriaty had disappeared into the mists of time, Jordan West and Matthew Partridge hit us right between the ears to serve up the results of the combined blood, sweat and tears that have surely flowed into the making of this brilliant album.
The opening track LOL, is pure Moriaty with rich guitar licks and hard core drumming leading straight into their politically motivated single release Shake and so it goes with the third track 24-7, more heavy riffs and power drumming as the listener begins to wonder when the ‘softer side’ will make an appearance. And suddenly there it is, smack in the middle of loud and proud Balls Out Of The Bath (Ode To Mary) an unexpected piano break creeps in before the boys rip it up to finish the track. OH! follows on with echoes of 60’s classic House of The Rising Sun and a distinctly Spaghetti Western style. Simon Dobson’s amazing brass skills enrich what is already a superb track. Just as we are soaking up the beauty of OH! the boys stop us in our comfortable tracks with Cognitive Disonance – a stark spoken word track warning us of man’s ability to destroy everything. Josiah Manning’s piano skills are brought in to add another dimension to very dark lyrics.
Keep On Keeping On lifts us up again as the boys get back to their down and dirty, bluesy rock n roll best. Closely followed by another Moriaty rocker in the shape of Sonny before we move onto Bills an angry rage against facing a never ending barrage of bills with no cash left over for fun. With shades of the Pistols and Crass, Bills would have been a big Punk number back in the day.
Don’t be fooled into thinking John Wayne is a cosy look at the Wild West or Big Leggy; the song opens with dramatic piano before Jordan and Matthew ramp up the rock to deliver a stark political commentary calling out manipulative governments, banks, monetary and media moguls. The song has a strong honesty, chiming with the listener as it reflects the thoughts of millions who despair at the naked greed surrounding us.
And so we reach the ever so slightly weird, but also wonderful, title track The Die Is Cast. Toned down guitar and drums create a stunning soundscape, while the boys take a back seat vocally to provide BV’s to a strange monologue by what sounds like an old lady.
As a final reminder of their promise to share their softer side, the closing track Netflix is both warm and gentle. The song begins with a creaking door and echoing footsteps on floorboards before Jordan West takes his place at the piano to deliver a beautiful bare bones solo. Netflix is a fitting end to a fabulous album.
The Die Is Cast does indeed allow us a small insight into a different side of Moriaty, but the album twists and turns defying us to get too cosy with their more tender tracks. Despite six very tough years Moriaty continue to produce the immense sound that fans have come to know and love – it’s been a long wait, but the boys have delivered their finest work to date.
The Die Is Cast is available now on the Zen Ten label at Easy Action Records:
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