The Long Way Down LP by Riches of the Poor
Debut albums are never easy to put together, no matter what the genre or how talented the act might be. That said, some might find it a little unfair how simply Riches of the Poor make it sound in their rookie release, the formidable yet wholly proper The Long Way Down, which was released this June to a warm reception from critics and fans alike. While Riches of the Poor might be the new kids on the block, they aren’t acting like it in songs like “Morning After,” “Not Enough” and the dedicated “Please;” in my estimation, they’ve got a lot more moxie than most rooks in their positions would. The Long Way Down is a mature LP that takes from industrial, post-punk, noise and post-rock influences without getting too jagged about it, and in my book that makes it a pretty special disc.
There’s a lot of emphasis on melodic machismo from start to finish in The Long Way Down, with certain songs – primarily “Behave,” “Anything Else,” “Needle” and its sequel “Home” – creating as much of a narrative through primal physicality as they would lyrical substance. Even with all of the meat and potatoes rock here, there’s no filler, nor is there any overindulgence in general, for us to skip over in the tracklist. Efficiency is obviously something that matters to this group, because if it didn’t, I don’t think they would be seemingly going out of their way to make every song here as balanced aesthetically and sonically as possible.
One thing The Long Way Down isn’t spilling over with is bass, but frankly Riches of the Poor didn’t need to weigh songs like “Again” and “Please” down with any sort of bassline extravagance for us to appreciate the molten-hot swell of the music in all of the material here. They’re a very methodical group, and where some would have relied on the pomp of an exaggerated bass part to generate some depth on the backend, Riches of the Poor make it known to all of us that such avenues aren’t even worth exploring when you’ve got the kind of skills behind the glass these guys do. They’re guts before glory, and while it’s sad for me to admit, it’s true that this makes them a diamond in the rough in our modern times.
Riches of the Poor are completely new faces to me, having come to my attention through The Long Way Down this June, but I can tell they’re going to do some amazing things in the years to come. They’ve got so much elegance skewed with eager angst, and if channeled into the right compositional realms, their passion could produce some really interesting indie content in the next few years. The Long Way Down is a good example of what they can do with a limited setup, and with a little more room to breathe in the studio I think it’s clear they’re going to be impossible to slow down when they’ve got a good idea to work with.