Review Summary: SSLYBY manages to blend brainless, sugary summer pop with articulate Shins-indie rock equally on Pershing, and the results are interesting...and weird, to say the least.
Recently, the term "sunny" and "pop" have been thrown together to describe a band as a happy pop affair, like summertime. To call Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin's sophmore effort, Pershing, simply a sunny, poppy album would be a wrong statement. Most "summer pop" artists are split into subdivisions of summer-poppery. The two most prominent are the summer poppers who write articulate, solid indie pop that never get heard by the mainstream, and the polar opposite, which is the pop artists who write brainless, lyrically-poor love songs with catchy hooks and TRL-worthy choruses. SSLYBY manages to blend these two subgenres equally on Pershing, and the results are interesting...and weird, to say the least.
The album opens with the song, "Glue Girls", which is one of the best on the album. Its lyrics, once you get past the catchiness of the song, are interesting and worth listening to another 500 more times. But on the next track, "Boring Fountain", the SSLYBY guys let their quirky side show with a horn intro and lyrics like "fell asleep in a boring fountain/woke up with an unkind word in my mouth..." However, the song feels like the band is trying too hard to be The Shins, as is with the tracks "Oceanographer" and "You Could Write A Book". The band makes some sucessful attempts at an effortless indie pop sound with "Some Constellation" and "Modern Mystery", but the album shines when the band plays more upbeat, playful tracks, like the incredibly catchy first single, "Think I Wanna Die". Overall, the band is stuck at a crossroad with this album. With the aforementioned first single and "Glue Girls", the band could quickly skyrocket to a temporary Shins-status with Beach Boys flair, although lose themselves lyrically when the time comes for them to head to the major league TRL status. However, they could maintain a small indie following and make interesting indie pop as they have now with some songs on Pershing and most of their 20 minute debut, Broom. Either way, this band combines a mix of sounds that at times, sound great, and sometimes sound jumbled and misguided. But they could easily have the potential to do something great, whether you'd hear them on the radio or not.