Exposé Online banner

Poor Richard — Knees, Reins & Feet
(Clockwise CW-71001, 1994, CD)

by Henry Schneider, 1994-12-31:

Knees, Reins & Feet Cover art Knees, Reins & Feet is Poor Richard’s debut CD after releasing two independent cassettes. They are a young band, both as musicians and as a band, formed in 1990 and now on their third drummer. Poor Richard recorded the music on this CD in the summer of 1993 while they all still lived in Arizona. Their music is difficult to categorize in that it encompasses several genres. To me they sound similar to bands like Gentle Giant, BeBop Deluxe, and Crack the Sky. That is, their competent musicianship and complex intelligent music skips back and forth between rock and progressive rock. The first song "El Ladron" is a down and dirty rocker with gritty vocals and funky organ riffs. It is one of those songs that grows on you the more you hear it. The next song "Dive" is a quiet ballad that picks up the beat half way through. Now to confound descriptions further they kick in with "Darkroom," a neo-psychedelic song with a heavy beat and great organ riffing! They even throw in some dissonant electric guitar. The last two songs, "Clockwise" and "Free to Daydream," are the closest to progressive rock on the CD and are also, in my humble opinion, the jewels in the crown with soaring guitar solos and excellent synth melodies. In addition to the music, Poor Richard elected to go with a picture CD that duplicates the album art, The Anatomy of Man’s body as govern’d by the Twelve Constellations. This art contains and explanation of the CD title. Poor Richard is a band worth investigating.

by Peter Thelen, 1994-05-01:

As the debate over the meaning of the word "progressive" (as it applies to rock music) continues, the loosest interpretations generally define it as anything that eschews the mainstream pop-song format and commercial aspirations. That's not to say that all music of this type is necessarily somehow inferior – there has been a lot of brilliant pop through the years: Queen, 10cc, Split Enz, The Beatles... with songs that certainly stretch the envelope and offer something more than the standard fare, and probably rightfully deserve the label progressive. And then there are those artists that stay safely within mainstream confines, yet seem to draw inspiration from the heavy hitters, occasionally throwing in a keyboard run or ethereal vocal passage as a pointer. In this category fall the likes of Toy Matinee, Tears for Fears, and so on... and now, Poor Richard, a quartet from Illinois featuring guitars, drums, keyboards, and a bassist who doubles on vocals. After the opening track "El Ladron," which recalls Hogarth-era Marillion embellished with some Gentle Giant ideas thrown in, this five song CD-EP turns to a more mainstream sound that remains safely within the confines of the pop idiom. That's not a knock - these guys do it very well - the musicianship and writing are of the highest caliber, and the production is quite good as well; it all works together to offer a sensible approach with good melodic hooks that should get them noticed. The remaining four tracks range from very commercial ("Dive") to some that pack a bit more of a rock punch with some overt and noticeable progressivisms ("Darkroom," "Clockwise"), but by far the best track on the disc is the closer "Free to Daydream," not because it's particularly proggy, but simply because it's an excellent all around pop song.


Filed under: New releases , Issue 3 , 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Poor Richard

More info

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Floralia Vol.3 – This is quite a mixed bag of generally psychedelic bands from all around the world. It starts off with Cosmic Gardeners doing a nice sitar-accented tune and borderline irritating vocals. A track by...  (2002) » Read more

Tempest - Turn of the Wheel – No, this is not Allan Holdsworth's hard rock band reunited. This is a new band mating Celtic folk and rock, and doing quite a job of it I might add. Comparisons to Jethro Tull (especially vocally)...  (1996) » Read more

Versus X - Versus X (Remastered) – Some may have checked out Apogee's The Border of Awareness that we reviewed in the Musea overview a few issues back, which is essentially the solo project of Versus X bassist / guitarist /...  (1996) » Read more

Stuckey/Murray - Mythical Fornication – If you are easily offended, don’t appreciate sophomoric humor, are a sensitive 90s male or a socially conscious feminist, please don’t buy this CD. If you enjoy bawdy humor (okay, beyond...  (2008) » Read more

Asia - Archiva 1 & 2 – Probably the best question to ask at this point is: What relevance does Asia have within the context of a progressive rock journal? By now the question is largely rhetorical because the answer is...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues