Music Reviews
Let It Sway

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin Let It Sway

(Polyvinyl) Buy it from Insound Rating - 6/10

Two of the more prominent themes of rock music in 2010 will undoubtedly go down as the rise of surf rock (Best Coast, Wavves, The Drums, Soft Pack, Surfer Blood) and the asserted dominance of Arcade Fire. Those two monolithic concepts, one of unbridled sonic joy, one of anthemic grandiosity, seem insurmountable for every other band, unless you’re the plucky young lads of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Originally from Springfield, MO, the band’s third album, Let It Sway, represents a sort of resting ground between the two soundscapes. With flashes of pop, rock, punk, alt-rock, and beyond, the album exceeds in filling a sonic gap and standing triumphantly as its own creation.

Opening track Back In The Saddle is the minute start, the tiny musical bud that builds upward and out into a boom of emotional and self-assured rock, setting the stage for sounds to come. While that track is the most clear hybrid of the two, the ethereal glow of Everlyn, with its bubbly verses brimming with that surf rock sensibility and a gorgeously massive chorus, represents a softer side that marries a steady rock groove with the rich tones of ambient music. But even without a clear synergy involved, the album’s default setting appears to be most happy when between the uniquely indie and the experimental noise project that is Stuart Gets Lost Dans Le Metro and the utter cheesiness and saccharine goodness of a novelty rock jam like All Hail Dracula! Despite being completely different concoctions, these two make for a seamless seven and a half minutes, inviting the listener on a musical roller coaster where the heavy importance of a mature and sensitive ballad is just as important as high fructose corn syrup for your ear canal.

But as All Hail Dracula! comes to a close, the album makes its way into the closing lap or so and begins a regrettable breakaway from some of the larger moments that pushed forward the first half. It’s not a complaint or critique, but a point worth mentioning. What they lack in sheer size, they make up for it a kind of overwhelming simplicity. Animalkind bops along with a forced emotional base and a chugging guitar line that's just as overly sentimental. Critical Drain has a lot of depth and maturity to it while still maintaining the spunkiness of an early ‘90s indie rock stoner anthem with a bit of an alt-country shine to it. And with summer lovin’ nostalgia trip Made To Last closing the effort out, despite its waves of grand guitars, you already begin to miss the joy of that aforementioned in-between musical destination, despite how much the sun may shine elsewhere.

But in the end, there is no held-fast commitment to a concept. Tossed into the epics is Sink/Let It Sway, a power-pop gem perpetuated by cheery guitars and hyperactive synth. Mixed in with the lighter back-end stuff is Phantomwise, a track which experiences the peaks of a heavy jam and the lows of ethereal buzzing. You could call it inconsistency, but you can tell they never signed up for the mission of steering the chasm of modern rock music. Instead, they're four guys doing what they want, culling their influences and breathing life into whatever construct emerges. But regardless of where it falls on the spectrum, it's always fun.