Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - The High Country - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - The High Country

by Jim Cunnar Rating:7 Release Date:2015-06-01

The High Country, the fifth album by Springfield, Missouri's Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, finds the indie-rock veterans in a celebratory mode, turning up their amps and returning to the reverb-infused sound that defined their earlier works. 2013's Fly By Wire was a bit of a departure for the band, with keyboards and melodic acoustic arrangements interspersed with occasional uptempo rockers. The High Country flips that recipe - it makes you want to open the windows and drive a little faster than what you probably should. 

SSLYBY (which is arguably one of the BEST band names ever) have never shied away from their influences. Opener 'Line on You' begins the album with a hook of distortion and janglly guitar riffs reminiscent of late model Husker Du. 'Step Brother City' is a speedy power-pop gem as good as anything The Strokes have ever written. The production allows each instrument to shine, ending in crashing cymbals and a single efffect-pedal transition which makes it impossible to not bang your head. 

'Full Possession of All Her Powers' has a 70s ELO vibe, allowing Philip Dickey's somewhat gentle voice to take center-stage. 'Madeline' is a gorgeous slow-down, a subdued two-minute reprieve which is reminiscent of fellow Midwesterner Matt Pryor and The New Amsterdams.  

'Trevor Forever' is a pop-punk shot of adrenaline, giving nods to another Midwest rock band, Motion City Soundtrack. The album ends with 'Total Meltdown"' a harder-edged take on the classic SSLYBY sound.  

One of the challenges of SSLYBY is the somehwat shallow, tinny nature of Dickey's voice. It's pleasant, but at times struggles to hold it's own against the harder-edged material the band puts out. Beau Sorenson's production on this album is noticable, somehow coaxing strength out of Dickey's voice without losing its impact. 

Dickey and fellow founder Will Knauer have always penned catchy songs with range and depth, and The High Country is no exception. It is the culmination of a strong 15 year career, a distillation of all the things SSLYBY does well. This is a solid listen, and one that fits quite nicely into what is turning out to be a strong summer of indie-rock releases.  

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