Bands can take many approaches in releasing a new album. The norm lately seems to be changing drastically into a 70s or 80s revival band, but Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin have remained pleasantly consistent in their sound. Their last album featured a brief shift into louder, clean sound on Let It Sway (which comes with having Chris Walla produce your album). However, Fly By Wire calls back to a sound much more similar to Pershing. It's not a regression, instead it is the band becoming very comfortable with their particular sound.
The album begins gently with "Harrison Ford," which disappointingly seems to have nothing to do with the actor. But the sound is sweet and soft with the tenderness of a Broom track and the catchiness of a song from Pershing. "Young Presidents" is poppier, but still calm and quiet, somehow bridging the unnoticed gap between noise-pop and hard rock. The next track, "Cover All Sides," is a good example of many aspects of the band, featuring a harmonious chorus, a soft verse, and their particular brand of jangling-yet-wailing guitar, and even the slightly inaccessible, but still completely sensical lyrics.
"Lucky Young" has the uplifting feel of "Modern Mystery" (and the blank-syllable chanting as well), but falls short in terms of overall staying power. On "Ms. Dot," the band manage to channel the beat from Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" and the chord changes from the bridge of The Monkees "Last Train to Clarksville" without sounding particularly like either song. That said, "Ms. Dot" is not a particularly standout track, but the tempo of the album picks of quite a bit for "Loretta," which has a reggae beat (although not feel) to it.
The album begins to wind down by "Unearth," which contains similar musical concepts to "Dead Right," but not played off as well. "Bright Leaves" is another track not quite up to par with the rest of the album.
Still, "Nightwater Girlfriend," an outstanding single from the album is used as the second to last track. "Nightwater Girlfriend" is a highlight of the album, featuring many elements that make the band good, and hooking you from the very first bar of guitar. "Nightwater Girlfriend" gives way to the title track, "Fly By Wire," which is a weaker track, but it still works fine as a wrap-up.
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin have always seemed to me to be a good band that there's not to much to say about. Fly By Wire enforces this idea. It's a good album, but somewhat indescribable. "Nightwater Girlfriend" is a great track, and the rest of the album is pretty decent as well, but unless you know what to expect from the band, it's nothing to dive into.
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin are an indie pop band from Springfield, Missouri.
Fly By Wire is out September 17th, and can be purchased here.