With 26 tracks Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin’s Tape Club runs over an hour long, and just that makes it a statement piece on its own. The Springfield, Missouri-based band took this statement a step further, though. Tape Club unveils a compilation of unreleased demos, B-sides and other rarities recorded by the band since their Broom days in 2005. With tracks in chronological order, SSLYBY has invited us with them on their decade-long journey of musical evolution.
Starting with gorgeous and soft, yet uncertain and lilting tunes, SSLYBY’s evolution is complete at the end of the hour with ending track, “Bastard of Rome.” By the 26th track, they sound like a fully refined and crisp indie band, with years of experience under their belts.
Listening through Tape Club, you can’t help but wonder when the transition occurs. From novices to experts. From uncertainty to confidence. Like eclectic, synth-pop track, “Yellow Missing Signs” or the upbeat, party-track, “Cardinal Rules,” the band leaves you constantly guessing by throwing tricky detours. And then there’s “Song 1000,” which briefly makes you wonder if the trip went to outer space as it sort of sounds like an alien song, but an awesome alien song with incredibly talented alien musicians. The risks are extremely exciting and incredibly moving while showing a totally different level of growth.
Interestingly, many of the earlier tracks featured on this album sound like they belong on an Elliott Smith album. When zoning out slightly on my fifth or tenth or billionth listen through Tape Club, tracks “Song W + Song L” and “Spinning Sea” (to name a few) sounded like they were straight out of an Elliott Smith discography.
Listening to these ten years of growth is intriguing, baffling and beautiful all at the same time. The variety on Tape Club is fun and refreshing. Polyvinyl Record Co. is certainly right to be proud for having a band like this in the C-U area.
WPGU Music Staff Rating: W-P-G-1/2
Key Tracks: “Blackbirds” “Stance” and “Holden”
RIYL: Telekinesis, Ra Ra Riot, Rogue Wave, and Elliott Smith.
W = Poor
W-P = Fair
W-P-G = Great
W-P-G-U = An instant classic!