Clap Your Hands Say ‘ehh’

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, a band made famous through Internet buzz alone, released its sophomore effort, Some Loud Thunder, on Jan. 30. The album, produced by Flaming Lips’ producer Dave Fridmann, brings more of the same distinctive style from the band. While the band’s self-titled debut album was hailed as a classic in some circles, however, their new album fails to impress. It sounds less lovably quirky and more

painfully jarring.

In 2005, the band sold nearly 20,000 copies of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah solely based on buzz generated from Web sites such as Pitchfork Media and various MP3 blogs. The band was also featured on Rolling Stone’s “Hot List” in 2005. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah released Some Loud Thunder without being signed to a major label, even though it was offered numerous record deals.

Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah’s rags to riches story is inspiring, but upon hearing this album, the band’s sound leaves a lot to be desired. The first album was considered profoundly innovative – the eclectic influences combined with lead singer Alec Ounsworth’s distinctly peculiar vocals made its sound different from anything else at the time.

The second album, though, fails to recapture that energy. Instead of presenting something new and original, the band’s second stab creating its initial sound comes across as bland. Most of the tracks on the album give one a sense that the good part is coming up – sadly, it never does.

Apart from “Satan Said Dance,” none of the tracks can be distinguished from one another, and the album essentially registers as 45 minutes of Ounsworth warbling in different pitches. All the songs contain minor variations, but primarily blur together in a whirlwind of chant-like vocals and whimsical background melodies.

The band may have been trying to push the boundaries a little further with this album, but their efforts fall flat. Some Loud Thunder lacks the distinguishing element that made them the ‘it’ band before, leaving fans with much to be desired.