Moriaty - The Devil's Child

by Nathan Fidler Rating:6.5 Release Date:2014-06-10

Describing themselves as dirty, filthy and bluesy, you know exactly what you’re going to get from Moriaty. The Devil’s Child is their full-length debut, and this Devon-based band knows how to romp, stomp and roll. The comparisons which the duo will draw include The Black Keys and The White Stripes but the truth is that they’re far more aggressive.

‘Belding’ does a quick turn as drums and guitar take it in turns to lead the groove as Jordan West growls “I’m gonna watch you burn”. Their lead single, ‘Esperanza’, has a clichéd opening with an 'old lady' ranting about the modern world – it’s out of place and seemingly unrelated. Because of the strength of this song, it’s a shame the intro ruins things. With a Spanish chorus which marches and a verse which shows off their blues-rock ability, it’s not surprising this is the one song left over from their last EP.

This is an album with hits which absolutely smash you between the eyes, like the jive rock 'n' roll of ‘Jealous MF’ and the buzz-shot ‘No. 7’, but it also has its missteps. ‘Venus Fly Trap’ featuring Plymouth-based friend Kelly Louise Naish is cloying, and unfortunately it’s the guest vocals which grate, with Miss Naish doing a ballsy, brash American drawl.

Another track which also jars is ‘If’, which features a slick riff wasted on a reading of Rudyard Kipling’s famous (and by now tiresome) poem of the same name. It’s read by a Plymouth radio presenter named Mark Tam, who gives a solid reading but the marriage of music and poetry here is one which should be divorced.

To focus on the negatives, though, is to do this band a disservice. There hasn’t been a British band with this much musical balls for quite some time. ‘Move On’ shows an acoustic side which relaxes on the break-neck speed but doesn’t pull punches, as West croons: “I don’t give a f***-a-doodle-doo/ I’m moving on from you”. If that’s not enough to illustrate their modus operandi then ‘Goodbye Love’ should convince you, casually dropping the big C – suffice to say it won’t be their next single for the radio.

Rock ’n’ roll, blues, hard rock; these are all things which Moriaty could be to individuals looking for a British band to reignite the flame. A more streamlined album with more of a cohesive feel as their next attempt could see them garner a lot more attention.

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