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Thursday, December 14

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Review Wed Jun 26 2013

Letting It Sway with Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin @ Schubas, 6/24

When glancing at this group's name, one might not presume that a band named after Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first president, would materialize into a fresh indie rock band full of summery rhythms and a light sound. However, this unique flair works for the group Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. They're quirky, and it works in their favor to further their identity, beloved by a strong following. Fans packed Schubas to the brim on Monday evening, amounting to a surprisingly packed crowd despite the time slot competition of the final game in the Stanley Cup series (YEAH, HAWKS!!! ...Okay, I'm done for now).

Sunjacket opened for the group, local Chicago band without any album material released thus far. You can take a listen to their Bandcamp page for a feel for their dynamic sound. A dark guitar intro would lead into a frenetic, energized guitar jam session amongst all members of the group, as seen in song "Two Parades." Haunting at points, the song bends and shifts its rhythmic patterns, holding your attention all the while. They also played a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon," a good choice to fit the mood of the crowd as they delved into their intriguing sound, many new fans listening for the first time.

While Sunjacket was a new, unfamiliar sound for listeners in the room, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin's set felt like returning home from a long road trip, unfamiliar highways convening into that familiar road you've taken a thousand times over, recognizing landmark after landmark as your very own. The way they converse with the crowd reminded me of old friends reuniting after brief time spent apart, even though the last time they played in Chicago was 2012. From Springfield, Missouri, the small town charm absolutely shines through for the group, friendly and jovial as if they've known each audience member personally for a long time. Their recorded material was initially recorded in their homes and dorm rooms, but the garage rock quality works for them and adds to their allure, creating their immense popularity over time.

"But you just try to stop me now from moving on with an Oregon girl," lead singer Philip Dickey wailed into the mic, rocking some neon shades inscribed with the band's name, drumming furiously as he sang. The set was nostalgic, as it blended singalong tunes from their earlier material, Broom, released in 2005, Pershing, a 2008 release, Let It Sway from 2010, and Tape Club, a compilation of demos and re-issues released in 2011.

They band played a handful of new hits as well off of their upcoming record, to be released this fall through their record label, Polyvinyl. As Dickey mentioned to the crowd, pre-ordering it online allows for you to also receive a pair of "sick shades" akin to those he was sporting. They continued their set by segueing into "Dead Right," which featured Dickey jumping feverishly around the stage (and falling off for a brief moment), as the group gave the song all they've got.

"Does anyone have any questions? I hope not," Dickey laughed as he joked with the crowd, their easygoing, friendly demeanor creating a strong rapport with listeners as if we are all interconnected old friends. They invited Brook Linder, producer of their music videos, up on stage to join them for a remix of "Back in the Saddle," and several other tunes, and also alluded to original member John Robert Cardwell's departure from the group.

"There is no modern mystery, we're making up our history," the group crooned out during "Modern Mystery." Their songs keep subjects light, but also highlight struggles of everyday life and become poignant when you least expect it. An encore for the crowd ended the show with "Think I Wanna Die," a song about bitter, unrequited love with such a light melody and rhythm that you would think it was about a subject a bit more whimsical. But that's what works for them, and what makes their sound so irreplaceable; a poppy melody can stand against a melancholy subject, or a slower, more solemn song can have extremely upbeat lyrical content. The merger of these two aspects creates Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin as a beloved indie pop band, who no doubt will continue to pen their legacy with their upcoming release.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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