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The Long Way Down by Riches of the Poor

Around every twist and turn in their debut album The Long Way Down, it seems as though Riches of the Poor are intent on chilling us to the bone with some component of their masterfully diverse aesthetics. From the pulsating harmonies of “Morning After” to the cerebral melodicism of “Home,” there’s a lot of ground covered by this band inside of a 39-minute LP. Despite the ambitiousness of the structures we find in “Needle,” “Anything Else,” “Please” and “Again,” Riches of the Poor never sound particularly unsure of where they’re trying to go with the main narrative in this record – truth be told, they seem a lot more confident than I would have assumed they would be. A record as driven by the grimy distortion of its guitar parts as it is the fragile intricacies that bind a vocal with the words it would wish to convey, The Long Way Down is a brilliant introduction to its creators and, above all else, one of the few indie rock albums out this summer that doesn’t start and finish with a layer of arrogant pretentiousness.

MORE ABOUT THE BAND: https://www.richesofthepoor.de/about

I really like the intensity of the grooves in “Anything Else” and “Needle,” and though they conflict with the essential concept in “Behave” and “Home,” none of these songs make for odd neighbors in the tracklist at all – the opposite, actually. There’s a very moody flow to this record that makes it feel more like a compilation than it does a standard LP in a couple of spots, but this eclecticism doesn’t inevitably yield discordance (as some would be quick to assume).

In a season that has been all about artists interested in beating one template to death a hundred different ways, this band is breaking out with something a little harder to pin down with conventional terminology. This isn’t to say that “Home,” “Not Enough,” “Anything Else” or “Please” are more on the experimental side than most mainstream fans will know what to do with, but instead to acknowledge just how much they’re biting off in this rookie effort. I think they can handle it, and the varnished look of The Long Way Down confirms as much.

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/richesofthepoor/sets/the-long-way-down-1

If this is just a glimpse into what the future has in store for Riches of the Poor, I’ll definitely be looking forward to hearing more of their work as the 2020s get into full swing. There aren’t many greenhorn efforts out this June that sound and feel as well-rounded as this offering does, and as long as Riches of the Poor don’t grow complacent between this release and their next trip to the recording studio, I don’t see any reason why they won’t be able to use this record as a launch point for an incredible career together.

They already have more going for them here than a lot of their peers have after years of slaving away in the recording studio together, and the last time I checked, having that kind of talent right out of the gate was something to be envious of in this business.

John McCall

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