While it’s too early to tell if Someone Still Love You Boris Yeltsin‘s sophomore album, Pershing, is a classic – damn thing’s not out till April – it’s definitely a quantum leap forward from their already-pretty-great debut. The fidelity is higher (but not too high), the harmonies (equal parts Beatles and I.R.S.-years R.E.M.) soar effortlessly, and the band plays with all the verve and confidence of the Shins circa Chutes Too Narrow. Singer John Robert Caldwell bears more of a vocal resemblance to Rogue Wave’s Zach Rogue, though, and that band’s fantastic Out of the Shadow is another reference point. The boys – who, full disclosure, slept on my floor in 2006 and were exceedingly nice, not to mention their participation in the first Rawkblog interview – are making my favorite brand of power-pop, one that shimmers with warmth instead of gloss. Dudes make Vampire Weekend look like Werewolf Tuesday.
“Glue Girls” kicks things off with thumping guitar chords that recall last year’s killer single, “Half Awake (Deb)” – the song that hinted at the band’s Jack and the Beanstalk-like growth. The verses of “Modern Mystery” ache with a sincerity worthy of the Juno soundtrack: “Every second, every day you’re gone / got a job but I can’t keep working on it … I swear you are so important / nothing you do is pointless.” Granted, the song is aimed at what sounds like a girlfriend in outer space but the band’s always indulged a bit of fantasy – Broom‘s “Pangea” compared a relationship to the splitting of Earth’s progenitive super-continent. You don’t need to bring this to your next Academic Decathalon meeting (I mean, I’m not going to stop you) – it just takes a lot of imagination to write songs this good.
(Pershing is due 4/8 on Polyvinyl, which has lots of good stuff coming out right now that you should check out)
Previously: Interview: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
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