Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Some Loud Thunder

Though they aren’t pretty, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are the poster boys for the online generation. Choosing to self-release their debut album not only earned the band more press and respect but it also set a precedent for indie bands. This quirky-sounding Brooklyn/Philadelphia band sold over 100,000 copies and despite attempts by numerous labels to snap them up, they’ve chosen to keep it real. First impressions of Some Loud Thunder aren’t exactly as warm as the first time you heard what all the fuss was about. In fact, the opening title track sounds like a horrible mistake, as it’s swallowed by so much distortion that you’ll swear there’s been a mastering error. Oddly enough, they shelled out some of that hard-earned coin to get Flaming Lips/Mogwai producer Dave Fridmann but it doesn’t sound like it, at first. However, that soon passes and then it’s singer Alec Ounsworth’s nasally yelp that rocks you into a comfort zone. "Mama, Won’t You Keep Those Castles In the Air & Burning?” is full of the reverb sodden warmth that oozes out of Spencer Krug’s various works, and then "Love Song No. 7” tries to cuddle you with Ounsworth’s comforting words, only to be offset by a jarring song structure. Some Loud Thunder’s strongest attribute is its ability to keep you on your toes. "Satan Said Dance” unloads a powerhouse rhythm geared for dance floors and Fridmann finally finds his signature sound with the final two numbers, proving this partnership worked for both. Certainly not gunning for a commercial triumph, CYHSY have turned in a speckled yet shrewd sophomore album that confirms the mounds of hype they generated had little effect on them.