Monday, 18 October 2010

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Let It Sway (Polyvinyl)

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin grasped my heart when they stormed their way into the indie rock world thanks to one astoundingly glorious band name and two albums heaped high of foot-tapping tunes that scream out feel-good summer glee. They return to our consciousness with a new record in the shape of ‘Let It Sway’, which sees the band throwing even more pop into their rock but directing their style of summer euphoria towards some kind of melodious melancholy.

The record begins, and continues, with a strong, pungent smell of stoner surf rock, thanks to 90s alt rock guitar drives that bring back memories of Weezer at their ‘Sweater Song’ summit. Even the title of the introductory track, ‘Back in the Saddle’, indicates an active return to the fray, albeit without any form of brash, bold bliss. It seems that summer may be over for the Boris Yeltsin boys.

Not that the summer sing along doesn’t stir at all anymore, rather that it lies dormant for the most part, materialising on the rare occasion. Most prominently, the shamelessly joyous indie rock ethos burns brightest on their initial single ‘Sink/Let It Sway’, which also emerges as the most mainstream indie effort here, revelling in the charmingly ditzy mood that has resurged in the West Coast rock movement forged by the likes of Best Coast and The Drums.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin provide a sound that is a confused recipe of Local Natives, Pixies and Weezer, never shining brightly enough to fully manifest itself as the powerhouse of lazy rock that it should be. Odd turns, such as ‘All Hail Dracula’, seem a step out of synch with the rest of the record, detracting from the combined power of the bands ability to create toe-tapping riffs and surprisingly engrossing sing-along structures. The sheer amount of supposed sing-along moments did start to grate until I gave in to the allure, la-ing and na-ing the day away.

The disconsolate highlight comes halfway in, with ‘Stuart Gets Lost Dans Le Metro’, which eases its way into life with a doleful guitar that gives way to some simple piano to underline the crestfallen heart of the album. Even the vocals here drift into some drowned background, sounding like they come from a lost 90s cassette tape recorded in the bedroom of some elegantly poised heartsick adolescent.

I am sure plenty of people will still love Boris Yeltsin. They appear to have something inherently loveable about the radiant mirth they process, taking teenage emotion and melding it into, and throughout, their particular brand of modern pop rock. Nonetheless, it is possible that there could be some fallout in the form of a few previous fans of the foursome losing faith in the newly approachable approach to indie that some may see as an attempted charge into the charts (or at least into the more generic indie rock horde). I, for one, can happily sit back and let some nineties nostalgia take hold for a little while longer (though sooner or later, it will be time for some Nada Surf replacement scuzz).

Words : Adam Parker

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