Hailing from Helsinki, Finland, the oddly named indie pop quintet Koria Kitten Riot have been around for a while. Their latest album ‘Songs of Hope and Science’ is a fusion of Americana, indie rock and psychedelia that reflects the band’s experiences of 2016.
Singer-songwriter Antti Reikko cites Elliott Smith, Wilco and early Weezer as influences. Recorded in Berlin with Doug Van Sloan (Bright Eyes, She & Him) handling mastering, the album is a joyous collection of instrument-stuffed pop songs that will make you smile and want to dance.
The latest album from Koria Kitten Riot is an incredibly gentle and thoughtful set of songs. Taking inspiration from John Smith, Bright Eyes and their contemporaries, ich Men Poor Men Good Men is a genuinely beautiful indie-folk record, treating its songs with sweetness and wonder.
Having a good lyricist on board is a big help here, as ‘Hope and Science’ is full of lovely lines such as “I believe in hope, it lies just around the corner.” The tracks themselves have this gentle ability to prod humanity in the ribs with a large stick, highlighting all its weak points whilst also reminding us that the world does have purpose. That is a great thing, especially when things are so grim. It’s a testament to their songwriting that they have this knack for making a point with such gentle charm, and I’m really looking forward to hearing what else Antti Reikko has in store.
Koria Kitten Riot
Koria Kitten Riot is a Helsinki-based five-piece whose latest incarnation boasts a plethora of giddy acoustic-led, instrument-stuffed indie-pop. The band has taken their usual sonic cues from the likes of Annuals and Grandaddy, but they’ve also thrown in a few 60s folk rock swells and a little psychedelia for good measure. The band’s latest album isn’t for the faint of heart, but it should be on everyone’s must-listen list. It’s a fun one to listen to, and the songs on it are pretty much all good. The album namesake is the best of the bunch, with standout tracks like aforementioned ol’ sexy sexy and the appropriately named “Songs of Hope and Science” and the album’s namesake track “Rich Men Poor Men Good Men”. Having seen this cult-favourite live, I can attest that these guys are worth the hefty ticket price.
Johnny Superhero is the musical alter ego of Reikko, who has a list of influences that includes Elliott Smith, Neil Young, Sufjan Stevens, Bright Eyes, Nick Drake and Jon Auer. His music is also influenced by the likes of Damien Rice and Regina Spektor, and he is working on a full length album.
Jonathan Lowell Spencer Storm, known as Johnny, was born in Glenville, New York on Long Island. He lived with his parents Franklin and May Storm and his sister Susan, but when May died in a car accident, his father gambled away the family’s wealth and forced Johnny and his sister to live with their aunt Marygay Jewel Dickins.
As a teenager, Johnny was inclined towards automobiles, and became an expert mechanic. He later joined his sister and fiance Reed Richards on a space flight which was bombarded by cosmic radiation, giving them superhuman powers.
His powers are the ability to engulf his entire body in flames, fly, absorb fire harmlessly into his own body and control any nearby fire by sheer force of will. He can also increase or decrease the intensity of the fire he is controlling at will.
He can also hold a person without burning them or making them feel uncomfortable heat, and he has a vast knowledge of fire management.
Though he is extremely mischievous and self-centered, he is a hero who will fight to the death for his friends and what he believes is right. This is one of the reasons he carries around a gun – to kill when necessary.
Unlike other superheroes, Johnny is not afraid of taking on the bad guys. During a Civil War, he is tempted to join Captain America’s team to help them save Sue and Redd.
Johnny is a lapsed member of the Justice Society of America and has made numerous mistakes during his time with the group, but the other members genuinely valued his dedication and he was considered a friend. He was eventually able to become a full member of the group after the Flash left.
Soliti is a Finnish label founded by Nick Triani in 2011. The label specializes in quirky indie-pop music, blending acoustic-led and maximalist indie-pop to create a genre-defining sound.
The label is home to a wide array of bands including Black Twig, Astrid Swan, The New Tigers, LOVE SPORT, Oceans, Puunhalaaja, olli, Verandan, Color Dolor, Ocelot, Swan/Koistinen, Pink Chameleons, Local Al and STINAKO among others.
koriakittenriot is a Finnish band founded by multi-instrumentalist Tuomo Noppari in 2007. The group’s debut album Rich Men Poor Men Good Men was released on March 30, 2014. It’s a fun, bright and cheerful instrumental pop record that’s sure to please.
There are a lot of similar bands out there, but koriakittenriot stands out for its attention to detail and for the sheer amount of fun it has to offer. The songs are full of wit and humor, and the band’s musicianship shines through in everything they do.
The album is a perfect example of the type of giddy, instrument-stuffed indie-pop that’s popular during the mid-’00s, a time when bands like Annuals, Decemberists and Grandaddy were creating a certain style of quirky, acoustic-led indie-pop that wasn’t always well-represented on the radio. It’s a joyous, joyful listen that will have you wishing you were dancing in your living room.