REVIEW: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Some Loud Thunder

Posted March 9th, 2007 by eric

So, there’s a rash of bad follow-ups lately. And, unfortunately, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is one of the victims. On its second full-length, the band manages to subvert all the nuances that made its debut great, while magnifying all the annoying bits. Alec Ounsworth’s voice has always been one unhinged-spastic-horse-neigh away from unlistenable, and he pounces on your last nerves with this new batch of tunes.

Some Loud Thunder isn’t even a slow-grower. The hooks are just glaringly absent, save for “Love Song No. 7” and “Underwater (You and Me).” The pacing is glacial. It’s a departure for sure, but it’s almost as though Ounseworth is trying to make the music as difficult and inaccessible as possible. Busy, multi-tracked vocalizations run rampant. The songs lack tautness, aimlessly ambling far too long for any real momentum to be gained, despite Ounseworth’s by turns clever and ridiculous lyrical diversions.

The overdriven production on the opening track keeps the band’s tradition of gratuitously bad openers intact. Honestly, this record is a struggle to sit through. The “sophomore slump” cliché doesn’t quite cover the problem here. The band’s debut, despite the unintentionally brilliant word of mouth marketing, gelled in such a way that it captured a familiar feeling that everything fell right into place by some stroke of unimaginable luck with its melodic bass leads, subtle keyboards and jangly guitars. This record is its antithesis: forced and awkward and boring.

Tags: album-review