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

SSLYBY has found a full chain that will yank them into a whole new matured and happy landscape.

Fans and critics alike were eager to see if the surprise success of Broom was just a fluke from a band with a silly name. With the release of Pershing, the critics seemed to enjoy body-slamming Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin to the ground. Most of the peeps who were already fans grazed the fine grounds of Springfield, Mo.—SSLYBY’s hometown—still loved the sound. Now, with some help from producer Chris Walla, Let It Sway will turn the heads and smiles of anyone and everyone on the fence.
SSLYBY has found the chain link that will pull both groups together, and a full chain that will yank them into a whole new matured and happy landscape. Age and experience has not bogged down their quirkiness, but has expanded their understandings of love, life and, ultimately, the ease of not falling into a miserable void of depression.
The evidence is in the lyrics. SSLYBY have been through not-so-perfect relationships and not-so-comfortable situations. Instead of letting life and critics and girlfriends drag them down, they realize all of these problems a-brewing aren’t really problems at all; they are hurdles that aren’t meant to stop the sprint and don’t need to be jumped. Walking by and getting to know that they’re there is enough. The catchy as all-get-out hooks behind these lyrics prove their understanding that finding fun in life is the number one thing to do; then everything will fall into place.
SSLYBY have always been proud to incorporate their hometown into their music and music videos. On the opening track of the album, “Back in the Saddle,” they namedrop a local point of interest: “We’re gonna bomb the Battlefield Mall/ we’re gonna take you down/ we’re gonna build a street that’s perfect/ we’re gonna make it last.” Using the mall as a metaphor for relationships is nothing but brilliant. (The mall, as I will assure you, is not close to perfect.) But as long as the other person in the relationship knows that you want to make things right and better is a big step.
“Sink/Let it Sway” comes jangling in with the life-affirming message to cheer the fuck up. With the precious guitar riffs and claps to back up the lyrics, this song can actually make your shitty day a good day. Hell, the entire track list can do that. “Even pretty girls don’t just park where they want to/ they gotta go round in circles like we all do.” Clearly SSLYBY wants their audience to enjoy life. If you don’t keep your head up, things won’t go your way.
“Banned (by the Man)” has na na nas and an all around good feeling surrounding their message to make shit happen: “Don’t stall/ just come down off the wall.” The funky beat of “In Pairs” is reminiscent of a good Spoon track. It gets progressively faster and stronger with some outer-space synth sounds and a dirty little bass line. The realization of why the ol’ girl had to back out of the relationship due to the fact that “My pride would not let me be wrong ever” is finally understood in “Everlyn”—but, dammit, now that he has figured it out he wants another chance.
 “Stuart Gets Lost” offers pieces of simple romance; the past is becoming more romantic everyday. I’m a firm believer in the romanticism behind pay phone calls, while SSLYBY “Got a four track on your bed/ got the movie on blank cassette.” Maybe it’s the rarity of such items these days that bring a sense of nostalgic happiness. “All Hail Dracula” confirms that the album wants to be able to look past the imperfections in a relationship and make it work. Having a unique and sometimes difficult relationship is cool enough; no worries if your lover sucks your blood.
It’s not that SSLYBY are just pussy-whipped idiots willing to put up with any shit the girls in their life give them. They actually put their foot down in “Phantomwise”: “You can’t have me back/ She’s mine/ She’s mine tonight.” Adios, toots. Maybe the memory of good times is enough. The finale is “Made to Last,” in which the unknown tribulations the couple will meet in the future are compared with mazes and moats. SSLYBY are trying to instill courage in the girl; to go head first into the relationship and to know that it can be frightening, but as difficult as it may be, love just might win. The album ends with overlapping lyrics, sounds of all the instruments blending together, and then fades out with a simple guitar riff and drum beat. Congrats to you, SSLYBY: You have solidified yourselves as a smart, catchy band with your heads locked tight on your shoulders. | Alex Schreiber

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