Pershing, the new album from Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, is named for a middle school band member Philip Dickey attended, and it blasts from the speakers with unabashed jangling indie rock joy. Layers of guitars and doubled vocals keep the band firmly attuned to their lo-fi roots on their second album. Their quirky guitar lines are augmented with horns and strings this time around, a benefit of a major label.
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, despite the laborious name, is old school indie rock in the vein of Archers of Loaf, Pavement, and bands of the Matador records mid-nineties heyday. Make no mistake; this isn’t retro rock. It just doesn’t cotton to current trends. "The Beach Song" sounds a bit like freak folk, with shades of the most recent Sigur Ros album. It's an album that feels new and unfamiliar while still retaining that cozy lived in feeling you want, like a friend you didn’t know you had finally showing up.
Pershing, like its predecessor Broom, has benefited from a rabid internet fan base and has garnered critics attention world wide. The backing of Polyvinyl Records has certainly helped the band’s chances of wider release. For a band with a vaguely ridiculous name (Dickey christened the moniker when he was seventeen), the maturity of their sonic output is a welcome surprise. Pershing is instantly engaging, but subsequent listens reveal layers upon layers of eccentric guitar turns and surprises making it a richer experience with time.
It is also a fine tribute to Alex Bethurem, a longtime friend and fan of the band who sadly took his own life. The album is dedicated to him.