Album release: “Rich Men Poor Men Good Men” by Koria Kitten Riot
Release date: 6 October 2013
Label: Yates Records
Listen: on official Koria Kitten Riot website
Hailing from Helsinki, Finland indie pop quintet Koria Kitten Riot are set to release their third album ‘Rich Men Poor Men Good Men’. This release is built around the experiences of singer-songwriter Antti Reikko, and is KKR’s first full-band effort. The album asserts testament to Reikko being told to “work f*****g hard, be honest and make ballsy decisions”, and clearly shows what can be done when a remarkable singer-songwriter makes the decision to transmute into a band leading to their most honest and developed recordings yet.
The album was recorded in Berlin, and has been mastered by Doug Van Sloun (Bright Eyes, First Aid Kit, and She & Him). The band take song writing influences from artists such as Elliott Smith, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Wilco (think Yankee Hotel Foxtrot), but this does not impede the band’s ability to maintain a level of spontaneity and impulsiveness throughout their songs.
As a body of work the content covers a varied subject matter exploring the world through other people’s eyes. This ranges from a song about a mass murderer to a song about an alcoholic violinist, however this never makes the album feel disjointed, instead injecting an element of benign empathy.
Standout track ‘Cold Cold Arms’ combines the dreamy sound of synthesiser, pedal steel and hypnotic lyrics with the guitars country-folk twang inflection exemplifying that this is by far the band’s best work yet. The song explores the idea of “losing your magic” and much like the rest of the album it explores the narrative beautifully.
This album exudes charm and at times you forget that you’re not listening to a soundtrack of a heart-warming indie film, aided by the bands bijou music videos that appear to have been clipped straight out of a Wes Anderson movie. This comes as no surprise considering that Reikko works in the film industry - he delivers a prodigious amount of dramatic structure into the band’s songs.
Lead singer-songwriter Reikko regularly dissects and explains the character and feel of each song via the band’s Facebook page and is clearly interested in sharing his thoughts and emotions with their listeners. The album is a personal and honest piece of work, and Reikko states that he’s “never made any money on music, quite on the contrary, but I’ve gotten to see places most people never see and met lots of special people”, and that’s exactly what Reikko is sharing allowing the listener to become part of the experience in idyllic reverie.
Koria Kitten Riot are:
- Antti Reikko – Acoustic guitar and vocals
- Lasse Toimi – Bass guitar and backing vocals
- Teemu Vänskä – Keyboards and backing vocals
- Olli Rahkonen – Electric guitar, pedal steel and mandolin
- Eino Anttila – Drums and percussion