Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Any remaining pony-tailed, old-school holdovers in the music industry must have been choking on their martini olives when the 2005 self-titled record by Brooklyn/Philly indie bomb Clap Your Hands Say Yeah weaseled its way onto the iPods and Best Of lists by way of a residency at a New York bar and Internet buzz. Now, a surprisingly short time after their first effort, the band is releasing their second record, Some Loud Thunder, while still lacking the mega PR infrastructure that cossets many bands we'd otherwise classify as indie. And they don't seem to need it.
While the first record was a barnstormer with some euphoric musical highs, Some Loud Thunder keeps the focus on graceful indie rock without ever really peaking in the same way as Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Second-album maturity does allow for a more refined sense of songwriting and a smoother approach to their woodsy psych. The title track/album opener is an earnest hand-clapper. "Emily Jean Stock" is a lovely '60s jangler, going in a direction that the band points to periodically throughout the record. "Love Song No. 7" and the tiny intermezzo "Upon Encountering the Crippled Elephant" feature circusy elements such as mournful accordion and drum rolls. "Mama, Won't You Keep Them Castles in the Air and Burning" borrows from the Destroyer/New Pornographers poetic wails, while "Goodbye to Mother and the Cove" is Pink Mountaintops with crying instead of sex. The spastic club rock that CYHSY is known for does reveal itself periodically, especially on "Satan Said Dance."
The flavor of this album is indefatigably separate from their first. In just a year or so, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah found a way to make itself more than just an Internet success story and become a real-life band.
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