‘Truth is a Wolf’ is the debut album from Mollie Marriott, the daughter of former Small Faces and Humble Pie legend Steve Marriott, and step daughter to singer Joe Brown. She has an impressive CV, singing with some of the great names of rock including Robert Plant, Jeff Beck, and Paul Weller.The latter collaborates on the title track of this album as well as ‘King Of Hearts’.
‘Control’ is the lead single, and opens the album with discordant keys before Mollie’s voice streams in like a ray of light. She has a soulful voice and great range, moving effortlessly from blues to rock. There is an aggression to the vocal. You can really believe that she is “taking back all control”. ‘Broken’ has a more mournful quality, which is hardly surprising, given it’s about the end of a relationship and the effect it has on Mollie and her daughter. It certainly pulls at your feels. Marriott’s voice aches with emotion and heartbreak. Her vocals add a grungy, atmospheric vibe to the title track. Deep and rich, this one is sensual, from the howling to the breathy vocals. The song really has a feel of days gone by, but with a modern twist from the intricacy of the guitars.
‘Give Me A Reason’ is packed to the gills with the most soulful, evocative vocals, a gospel backing, and blues organ. The feelings conveyed will get even the hardest heart to open slightly. It is simply beautiful. ‘Run With The Hounds’ is a catchy track that again displays another aspect of the vocals, channelling inner early Fleetwood Mac. ‘Transformer’ really displays the grungy influences that Marriott loves, from Chris Cornell, through Pearl Jam, to Alanis Morrissette. The guitars are deep and heavy, providing a darker quality. There is a load of space, allowing you to think your own thoughts whilst listening. Written as a song to be sung to a former self after making the same mistakes in relationships, this is a commanding reminder to be yourself. A real standout track.
After the country blues feel of ‘Fortunate Fate’, with its wah wah guitar and shimmering riffs, ‘King Of Hearts’ is hazy and trippy with just the right amount of down and dirty sleaze. I have had this turned right up, and I can tell you it sounds even better cranked to 11! All good things must come to an end, they say, and the closing track, ‘My Heaven Can Wait’, is about reaching rock bottom and feeling completely lost. Knowing that you have to get back up and sort things out but knowing you have to do this in your own time. This is a powerhouse of a track, the suffering and intensity of the vocals are matched with the raspy, wailing of the guitars.
Mollie Marriott has produced an authoritative album, conveying intensity and depth, dealing with real issues, and not backing down from talking about things that happen. Her vocals contain a purity which reminded me of Eva Cassidy but with a cheeky overtone more akin to Eddie Reader. This is a great album, which I have turned to when I wanted something with emotional integrity to be swept away. It also made me smile and, at times, hold my breath, which is what a good album should do, right?
Available November 3rd, Mollie Marriott is also out on the road with Bad Touch. All dates can be found here.
Review: Samantha Lamb