According to Spin magazine, Missouri band Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (SSLYBY for short) is in line to "succeed The Shins." According to Leafblower's annual "Top Bands Of America Today," they rank ahead of bands like Wilco, Iron & Wine, and The New Pornographers - at least among the bloggers of the world, who at last count were numerous enough to rank somewhere close to the population of Russia, the band's namesake's home country. Pershing, their second album (and their first professionally produced record) was released almost a year to the day after Yeltsin's death, and while it might not exactly be a tribute album, Boris would definitely think it was "Godunov."
Despite the name, PerSHINg is less Shinny than the band's first album, with SSLYBY not quite moving into wholly new territory, but at least gazing longingly towards their own unique sound. Album opener "Glue Girls" is a bright, clean, Weezery blast of happy, and would amply replace anything on the now seemingly legendary Garden State soundtrack; the same might easily be said of many tracks on the album, from the radio friendly car-commercial-ready "Dead Right" to the lovely "You Could Write a Book," the latter's reverby vocals seemingly coming from "such great heights" that Yeltsin himself might be doing a singalong.
Not everything here is in Braff turf, of course, and all for the better. "Boring Fountain" starts brassy and bold, and somehow manages to pull off a "bright side" look at ennui, drifting into Refreshments territory with its Bandito-like bounce. The quirky "Oceanographer" does its best to rhyme the lengthy title word throughout a 4:45 3- hour tour, crashing guitar standing in for waves, and yet never goes for the easy "New Pornographers" reference. And is that a bit of Billy Joel I hear on "HEERS," almost as if begging someone to do a "Big Shot" mashup for YouTube? Maybe it's just the vodka talking. Here's to you, Boris Yeltsin. This reviewer still loves you.
Favorite Track: "You Could Write A Book"
Michael Fiegel is a freelance writer and graphic designer. His diverse
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