Rich Men Poor Men Good Men by Koria Kitten Riot (Album)

Rich Men Poor Men Good
Koria Kitten Riot

The band take a novel approach to the question of whether there’s a feline in the fold

Helsinki five piece Koria Kitten Riot trade in an indie-folk world that’s filled not with streaming eyes, but beaming smiles

Rich Men Poor Men Goodich Men Poor Men Good Men is the third album by indie-folk Finnish quintet Koria Kitten Riot. Fronted by songwriter Antti Reikko, this is their first album to feature a full band.

Opening with the sweet, Eels nodding, Between A Pillow And A Soft Place, it’s soon clear that moving to a full band has not bloated Reikko’s songwriting. Indeed the addition of further members has given a more developed sound and allowed him greater room to breathe, recalling the evolution seen between Elliott Smith’s Either/Or and XO. Smith is an influence on the songwriting too, with A Last Waltz name checking his Waltz #2 – though the melody is borrowed from emo legends Sunny Day Real Estate’s song Pheurton Skeurto.

It’s not just folk tones at play though. Suits & Evening Gowns ventures into Death Cab For Cutie’s sensitive indie-rock territory, while Cold Cold Arms is possessed of the same alt-country vibe found on latter day Bright Eyes records. The songwriting approach of Mark Oliver Everett can also be throughout the record.

What really separates Koria Kitten Riot from their peers is that unlike Smith, Oberst and their contemporaries, they aren’t climbing out of a black hole, nor staring blankly at walls. Rich Men Poor Men Good Men is a record that treats its indie-folk with sweetness and wonder, leaving a smile on the face and a glint in the eye.

Verdict: Touching folk loveliness

Damien Girling

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