Poor Richard — Knees, Reins & Feet
(Clockwise CW-71001, 1994, CD)
by Henry Schneider, 1994-12-31: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.
Related artist(s): Poor Richard
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Synergy - Semiconductor, Release 2 & Metropolitan Suite – In 1986, the first era of Synergy releases came to an end with Metropolitan Suite, which in some ways is the culmination of Larry Fast’s original musical vision. That does not make it... (1999) » Read more
Stealing the Fire - Hot Ice and Wondrous Strange Snow – Not really a sequel, but certainly a long time coming. Anyone recall the Earthstone album Seed? At the time it was receiving some good reviews, actually people were raving about it; I know I liked it.... (2002) » Read more