Koria Kitten Riot 'Rich Men Poor Men Good Men'
I’m more than prepared to concede that not everyone will like some of the more unusual bands i come across, but i love trying to find diverse music that’s different from the norm. Finnish Indie Folk Pop band Koria Kitten Riot have just released their album Rich Men Poor Men Good Men on Vinyl through Yates Records in the UK, and to me this is quirky, original and immensely likeable. In fact its sprinkled with a fair amount of magic and genius from start to finish.
We’ll start from the beginning. A fuzzy haze of guitar noise making me believe that Koria Kitten Riot could be a metal type outfit, before a seamless switch to a glockenspiel intro and the start of a great track, ‘Between a Pillow and a Soft Place’. Then in the ‘middle 8’ instead of a clever instrumental, Koria Kitten just bash the hell out of their instruments in a wild cacophony that makes no sense, other than they’re clearly having a lot of fun doing it. All I needed was a sudden end to the noise, a single lone triangle with a Cardiacs style ‘ting’ and then the noise to continue and I’d have been very very happy.
The simplicity and beauty of the ‘Last Waltz’ leaves me dancing round my house holding a broom for a partner, whilst shouting ‘play it like you f***ing mean it’ along with singer Antti Reikko as they hit the last refrain. The Train Song is poignant and thoughtful – ‘in the 50s she was still obsessed with passing foreign trains in case a prisoner of war passed secret letters’. But the highlight of the album to me is ‘Today is a Beautiful Day’ which describes a day anything but beautiful, and which would be worthy of our favourite Nordic Playlist if only we were doing one (which we’re not). The album clearly has a lot of thought put into it, and I was therefore expecting a grand finale, and it has it in ‘Where Good Men Used to Live’, an anthem with great lyrics and brass and strings building in crescendo to the end.
Ok so its probably true that not all the songs consistently reach the heights of ‘Today is a Beautiful Day’ and The Train Song’, and I sometimes wanted a bigger sound from the 5 member outfit – although maybe that would just drown out the glockenspiels. But I really love this album, they come across as a band who have a serious outlook on life, the lyrics are interesting and at times dark, but as a band they don’t always take themselves and their music too seriously, its clever, thoughtful and quirky, and its definitely in my top Indie Pop albums of the year.
Nordic Music Review 8.5/10