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The Miserable Rich 12 Ways To Count Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

The Miserable Rich aren’t going to struggle for recognition

Rob Crossan 2008

Describing their music as 'the sound of one lip kissing', this Brighton based five piece create an atmosphere on 'Pisshead', the standout track on their debut album that could perhaps more accurately be described as the sound of one drunk lamenting.

"I'm dead as a dodo, I'm flat on my ass" is the unexpectedly melodious sounding refrain from front man James Malplaquet. Though this is no Tom Waits style, booze sizzled gutter rant. Rather, the sound of kazoo, violins and even a bell calling time on the number at its end creates a rustic sounding dipsomaniacs love affair that's too warm and hazy to ever prompt an AA call.

This is chamber pop folk that has dismissed the beardy woollen jersey cliché to instead don a fine layer of cashmere before entering a dusky world full of tales of boatmen, matinees, teenage crushes and waiting for pay day. "I'll be rolling up in backseats, I'll appreciate the view", croons Malplaquet on the sonorous, violin soaked lament to small town boredom Button My Lip towards the close of the album. Both deft and enchanting with their ability to embrace the pastoral flavours of trad folk and some winningly playful pop hooks, 12 ways to count has tear-jerkers and caustic wit in equally charismatic measure.

With strong connections to Lightspeed Champion and Brighton's Wilkommon Collective, The Miserable Rich aren’t going to struggle for recognition - particularly on the evidence of this superb album- but its Malplaquet's voice, a clarion call that sounds uncannily similar to early 70's troubadour Colin Blunstone, that really endears.

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