Moriaty -the band who give it everything they have. They have to, there are only two of them. The Die Is Cast finds Jordan West and Matthew Partridge, erm, giving everything they have. To great effect.
Release date: 23rd October 2020
Label: Easy Action Records
Format: CD / DL / vinyl
It’s an album that finds their traditional guitar and drums duo sound broadening and the duo citing Blind Willie McTell, Radiohead and Vulfpeck as influences on their new songs.
It’s also an album that’s had a difficult gestation, the brakes being applied as a result of a round of births, deaths and that thing we don’t mention amongst other things. However, that’s all easy to forget as the huge swagger of LOL kicks in as a two-fingered gesture to whatever fate can throw their way. There may be the theme of change that inevitably runs a vein through the album but the duo do a sound job of gritting their teeth and rolling with the punches.
While some will point to the more obvious comparisons with similar guitar/drum duos, what comes through on The Die Is Cast is a stomping glam vibe – visions of platform boots and glitter-encrusted threads while the Top Of The Pops studio audience try to dance along and avoid the cameras.
Meanwhile, the riff-fest continues with the fizz and fire on 24-7 and Balls Out Of The Bath, the latter swinging and grooving wildly with what sounds like some hoary old Hammond going on in the distance as the funky chops and cry of “I gotta cut loose” that cross swords with the heftier rock get pushed aside for a moody interval.
Should anyone get too comfortable Cognitive Dissonance offers a mid-album respite with some spoken word ambience – totally unexpected – while John Wayne and Netflix veer off in unexpected directions. The idea that two people on two instruments are going to create the same song again and again (as some do – no names mentioned) is completely dispelled. The title track feels like an invader from another album, picking up on the band’s experimental Radiohead-ish departures that were promised.
And then we get Netflix. A parting shot that seems virtually an improvised and off the cuff afterthought. It’s hardly Paul McCartney crooning one of his standards but not quite whiney enough to bring in a Thom Yorke comparison. A bold, close to the edge way to bring the curtain down on the album.
Yes, Moriaty might point to the fact they’ve supported Muse, some of IDLES have been in their videos and Thom Yorke is a fan. Time for the world to start to realise why they’ve earned these plaudits. The beauty of The Die Is Cast is that Moriaty has put together a sound palette that you wouldn’t expect from a duo.
Read Jordan West’s Why I Love feature on The White Stripes here
Listen to Balls Out Of The Bath here: