Release Date: Oct 18, 2011
Record label: Polyvinyl
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Pop
Limited to 3,000 copies, Tape Club is a compilation of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin's B-sides and demos in unreleased versions that range from polished studio recordings of the full band in action to rough solo takes on acoustic guitar. In the Midwestern indie pop group's downtime between 2002 and 2011, the trio (or sometimes quartet) recorded often. In fact, the 26 songs on the compilation were handpicked from over a hundred, hinting that they must have been of high caliber to have been considered.
Sometimes there’s a good reason bands have unreleased material. The just-not-right-for-the-album songs, while they are cornerstones in a band’s career, can come off as both awkward and underdeveloped; maybe it’s kind of like looking back on old high school essays or home videos of you learning to ride a bike. Sure, it’s a building point for who you are now, and yeah, you’re glad you did it.
“Now, let me tell you about Missouri,” sings John Robert Cardwell on Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin’s compilation of demos and rarities, Tape Club. Those distorted lines open the dark, synth-heavy “Yellow Missing Signs”, speaking for both the album and SSLYBY as a whole. Besides writing sweetly catchy songs that always seem to hover just below the radar, the band endears with its small-town intimacy.
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin are something of an artifact. The band come from a time -- not long ago, though it seems like ages -- when the blogging world played tastemaker by lauding a series of indie-pop acts to varying success. Some started off promising (remember those Voxtrot EPs?) but most never went anywhere. SSLYBY fit the mold because they made sweet pop tunes, they were under the radar, and they had that unwieldy and clever name.
Really? A rarities collection after only three LPs?.
The best decision this Missouri quintet ever made was choosing the name they did. After all, how many bands out there can actually make you wonder for a split second whether or not they appreciate the oligarchical reform of Boris Yeltsin? (If you actually think they do love Boris Yeltsin, it’s merely a joke.) Seeing SSLYBY’s name on a page should most likely boost your interest in their sound, but if that’s not the case, then it should at least make you wonder exactly how wacky these guys can get. Truthfully, they’re not all that wacky.
There are many things irresistible about Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (SSLYB), staring with its irresistibly adorable name (Someone Still Loves You Mikhail Gorbachev just doesn’t have the same cuddly ring). And then there is the sound of the band, starting out sweet and soft in its memorable and entirely lovable first album, Broom, and then maturing into a solid, slightly more hard-edged sound in its great, recent Let It Sway. This is a band everyone should hear, and if possible, see live (although the live shows still seem to be a work in progress, it’s important that we show them our support).