Working on the editorial theory that Red Guitar Music covers a wide range of music or, in other words, things we like. Welcome Finnish Indie-Pop act, the oddly named, Koria Kitten Riot fronted by singer-songwriter Antti Reikko. The band have sited The Flaming Lips, Elliott Smith, Wilco and early Weezer amongst their influences and recorded the album in Berlin with Doug Van Sloan (Bright Eyes, She & Him) handling the mastering . The first thing that strikes you about the album is how beautifully it is constructed. The marriage of the lyrics of Reikko and the inventive musicianship of the band members is exceptional.
Opener ‘Between A Pillow and a Soft Place’ sets the scene as brief electronic noise transforms into a gently glockenspiel lullaby, with the addition of some keys and an acoustic guitar, to create a sonic counterpoint to the lyric as our protagonist is “the man you go for, if you go for second best ’‘who “doesn’t talk to people cause they’re dirty from within” before the full band comes in and things build to the strange ’10 second instrumental break’ worthy of Franz Zappa. The video for this track is a clever piece of work, which has been compared to Wes Anderson in style; musically KKR would be the perfect accompaniment to a film by Mr. Anderson.
‘Sinners in the Sun’ is quite beautiful as acoustic guitars, warm bass, harmony vocals, steel guitar and strange keyboard textures combine perfectly. Is it is possible for a song to actually shimmer? ‘Cold Cold Arms’ does with its use of synthesizer and country twang perfect for the plaintive vocal. Harmonium ushers in ‘Today’s been a Beautiful Day’ a tale of the death of a poor man caught up in a traffic accident leaving his body and talking to God. The album closes with the epic, in a small way, ‘Where Good Men Used to Live’ as Reikko wonders on the state of the world as strings swell, guitars feedback and horns unexpectedly rise over the soundscape.
Koria Kitten Riot turned out to be an unexpected pleasure for this reviewer and are worthy of your attention. Give it a go you’ll be glad you did.