Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin seem to hit the mark more often than many, they put you in mind of slacker-come-alt-pop, rough around the edges completed with smoother melodies, can this formula work throughout a full album?
‘The High Country’ is the first SSLYBY album to truly capture the power and energy the group exudes when performing live. “We’ve always cranked our amps up in practice and at shows, but we always kept it off our records,” says guitarist/vocalist Phil Dickey. “This time we wanted to go beyond our mid-tempo tendencies and make something really satisfying.” An aim the first couple of songs reconfirm, listening to ‘Line On You’ and ‘Step Brother City’ as you can possibly expect, impress and not of the unifit mid-pace exercise some may know. But even the ballads are stylistically frayed around the edges. Case in point — ‘Madeline’ which is said to be “tracked at 4am, immediately after Dickey blew out his voice recording ‘Trevor Forever’” the punk rock anthem you wish you’d been able to scream along to as a teenager.
After a month spent demoing and practicing, the three musicians convened at Seattle’s legendary Hall of Justice to record with engineer Beau Sorenson (Superchunk, Garbage). After a first listen through of ‘The High Country’ one thing is sure Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin have the enthusiasm and ability to keep off-kilter and trying to respond as each song dictates. SSLYBY recorded the album as a power trio consisting of Dickey, guitarist/vocalist Will Knauer, and bassist Tom Hembree, a founding member of the group who left after Broom, but returned to (as Dickey describes it) “stir things up in the best way possible and demand we play louder and faster.” Something I’m enjoying more than first thought, the quality is good throughout, songs such as ‘Goal Mind’, ‘Song Will’ or ‘Magnet’s New Summer ‘Do’ all add weight to proceedings.
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin have made great efforts on ‘The High Country’ an album above the average and well realised. 8/10
Official video for ‘Step Brother City’