It seems that plenty of folks still love Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin.
After creating a decade's worth of music, this prolific band came out with an overwhelming amount of backlog material with their newest release, Tape Club. It featured the best-of-the-rest, songs that never quite fit on other records, material that just didn't fit, but had its place in the SSLYBY catalog. With a whopping 26 tracks, there are some definite hits and some natural misses. They all seem to have that effervescent pop anthem vibe, with the added bonus of listening to the band's evolution unfold. It's formatted chronologically, dating back from early bedroom recordings to pieces left on the cutting-room floor during Let it Sway.
Members Will Knauer, Philip Dickey, John Robert Cardwell and Jonathan James have come along way in the last 10 years, and Tape Club is almost like an exposed diary that lets listeners into the growth of the band members as artists. The album exposes all the raw growing pains of any teenagers: Spinning Sea is the careless summer jam, while Go Upstairs and Lower the Gas Prices Howard Johnson are more rebellious, Tin Floor 51 is more experimental and edgy. "Bended," meanwhile is a song that burst out of nowhere -- completely unpredictable, but all the more beautiful in its nature.
There's a strangeness to Tape Club, certainly, as is true with the evolution of any artists. Most often, though, it's not so neatly organized in a curated collection of songs, but, rather, feels like they've been discarded or recycled into newer and better versions. It seems almost courageous for a band like SSLYBY to put something out that is so vulnerable -- the very act of doing so is almost art itself.
Tape Club might not be the best representation of the band as it is today, but it is definitely the most honest work the band has ever put out, and for that, we still love them. Check them out at Soda Bar this Saturday, along with Ha Ha Tonka and Lanterns. Get your tickets here.