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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Cover Artwork)

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Clap Your Hands Say YeahClap Your Hands Say Yeah (2005)
self-released

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


Contributed by: LevitateMeLevitateMe
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Last year, the Arcade Fire came out of nowhere. No one expected them to put out such a great record. No one expected them to put on the most intense live show around. No one expected it, but everyone acted like they did. That band was praised as the second coming of everything by everyone. And while.
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Last year, the Arcade Fire came out of nowhere. No one expected them to put out such a great record. No one expected them to put on the most intense live show around. No one expected it, but everyone acted like they did. That band was praised as the second coming of everything by everyone. And while they were very good, all that hype caused them to lose some of their mystique. Well, I think I've found the next band that will fall victim to that double-edged sword: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. With their self-titled debut album, it's like deja vu all over again.

The album opens with bloopy baseball game organ and vocalist Alec Ounsworth sounding like a carnival barker. He shouts things like "and away we go" and "just clap your hands" over background singing, stomping, and clapping, a fitting appetizer for what is about to come. The first real track, "Let The Cool Goddess Rust Away," begins with quietly strummed guitar and tinkling piano giving way to stomping drums and thumping bass. As Ounsworth whines the first line "I found a new thing, a new image staring back at me" comparisons to David Byrne spring to mind. His delivery contains that same shrill tone, that same gallant effort despite the fact that he has a terrible voice. That terrible voice is such a wonderful thing to hear. The song seems to glide along at about the same pace and engery the whole way through, the only differences being found in the vocals. This creates such a great subtle energy shift, which makes the song's crescendo actually a surprise. This is exactly what David Byrne did with the Talking Heads, especially on their first two albums. "Sunshine And Clouds And Everything Proud" begins with a music box and guitar combo before morphing into the countryish ballad "Details Of The War," a song in the vein of the Talking Heads' "The Big Country." Ounsworth's voice is still dead-on David Byrne with maybe a little Jeff Mangum thrown in as well. To this point it's good, but there's nothing really special other than the vocals. That is until the next song...

"The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth" is one of my favorite songs on the album. It begins with fuzzy synth and then fast disco drumming, twangy guitar, and penetrating bass. This song is very fast and dancy and the music is excellent, but Alec Ounsworth's vocals are still the star of the show. There's one point near the end of the song where he goes from mumbling a verse to an explosion of spastic screaming. The sounds could be words or just noises, I don't know, but whatever they are is amazing. "Is This Love?" is another great track. It features more spastic vocals on the chorus over whining backup singing and punding drums. Yet another great track, "Heavy Metal," follows these two. This is one of the harder songs on the album; it does a great job of threatening to get hard before it actually does. Once again, the lead and backup vocals are brilliant and the drumming as well. These three songs, making up the album's centerpiece, are an all out assault blending rock and pop and about a million other influences. By this point you're caught so offguard that you won't even notice the fact that you're dancing your ass off.

The third placeholder track, "Blue Turning Gray," begins the album's latter part. These songs fit well on an album like this because they give you a chance to catch your breath. "In This Home On Ice" is more like the three brilliant songs in the middle of this album; it's a fast-paced poppy gem with just enough rock edge. "Gimme Some Salt" is a bit of a departure; its sounds almost like Slint trying to get funky. The album ends with what may be its finest moment: "Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood" is an amazingly fun song. It begins with fast acoustic guitar and drumming complemented by a nice lead guitar part. The most amazing thing about this song is that Ounsworth actually manages to turn his vocals up a notch, making them more manic and crazy. When he sings "they are going out to bars and they are getting into cars..." it's like the crowning of a new king vocalist in modern day music. A perfect end to a near-perfect album.

This band is getting some crazy hype (Pitchfork is trying to keep from pissing themselves), but don't let that scare you away. This band is worthy of all the praise they are receiving. If you like the Talking Heads, dance-punk, new wave, or just good music, you should definitely check this out.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad NewsModest Mouse - The Moon and AntarcticaModest Mouse - This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think AboutModest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded WestWeezer - PinkertonModest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even SankNeutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The SeaThe Decemberists - PicaresqueCircle Takes The Square - As The Roots UndoThe Mars Volta - Frances The Mute

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
thegreatestmanalive (June 27, 2007)

Hey, did that guy compare a review site to Nazis?

This album rocks my world

treos (February 1, 2007)

To the guy two posts down...musical theory my ass.....terrorhawk by Bear vs shark was praised as incredible and back to the basics album because the album sported simple chord combos...so shut the hell up about this being album being," typical" and, " lame-ass"

Marlon (January 13, 2006)

Wow... I think somebody needs a nap. Anyway... yeah... The National > Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Anonymous (January 12, 2006)

This album sucks ... the only reason people like this shit is because it's so horrible that indie "obsessees" (aka: people who like horrible music because no one else will, "look at me i'm so cool and avant garde!") flock to it. Pitchfork media's horrible taste in music, yet their ever growing brainwashing on culture's musical taste, sickens me; like watching Nazi's convince Germans, "Don't worry.. it's ok .. come on everybody, jews aren't really human!!!."

Maybe instead of all these "brilliant" music journalists spending all their time taking english courses, should spend more time taking music theory courses. Then maybe they'll appreciate what REAL songwriting involves, and notice that half of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's album just repeat the same two, typical, lame-ass chords over and over again (and actually contains guitar lines that play the wrong notes over the melody!) and that the lead singer's vocal melodies are about as clever and memorable as a wet fart squeaking through someone's ass.

Anonymous (November 30, 2005)

I don't get the hype. I think their music is lousy.

Anonymous (July 4, 2005)

its not just pitchfork who is hyping this up.

LevitateMe (July 4, 2005)

This band was getting hyped way before pitchfork's review was up

Anonymous (July 4, 2005)

my theory is that pitchfork is testing the water here

"what if we give some obscure unsigned brooklyn band with an otherwise un-marketable name a 9.0 and see how fast it takes for them to blow up?"

its pitchfork seeing how persuasive they actually are
- the other scott

LevitateMe (July 4, 2005)

They're named after some graffiti that they saw

rkl (July 3, 2005)

It's not like CYHSY sat around and tried to think of some ironic name. I also think some people don't like Pitchfork because their writers actually went to real colleges.

bandnames dont just fall from the sky. im about a semester and a half shy of getting my journalism degree, and i find pitchfork's writing to be hackneyed and trite.

also, i dont really care about flavor of the week bands.

Anonymous (July 3, 2005)

The album of the year will be Minus The Bear's.

Agreed.

Anonymous (July 3, 2005)

Absolutely amazing. Lo-Fi Indie with a touch of experimentation and impressive song writing. I've only heard the 3 songs on their site but I'm ordering the CD right now.

Anonymous (July 3, 2005)

Even worse....

LevitateMe (July 2, 2005)

Don't worry, they'll have a picture of the band in front of a brick wall on the next one.

Anonymous (July 2, 2005)

Are those goddamned fucking teletubbies in too-too's on the cover? Shit.

Anonymous (July 2, 2005)

i'm going to have to go ahead and call this shit really fucking boring

- the other scott

boba_fett (July 2, 2005)

i never hyped the arcade fire and i'll never hype these guys. that's how much of a punk rock rebel i am.

Kenjamin (July 2, 2005)

sounds like the bravery to me.

Anonymous (July 2, 2005)

"punknews.org is like pitchfork's retarded little brother."
hahahaha

i don't really get this music. but i guess i never was a huge talking heads fan either. i think i like my music more, focused, i guess. it's pleasant enough, i just can't imagine listening to it often.

Anonymous (July 2, 2005)

A lot of the reviews at Pitchfork are just boring and they never get to the point. The music itself is bad but so is most here.. i say who cares.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

this band meets the criteria of rudimentary truthfuless of what music should have been like therefore i expect other bands to start following the same route they passe on.

tylerdurden8136 (July 1, 2005)

i really wish i had something more intelligent to say than "wow, this is good," but uh, yeah...

wow, this is good.

corpseofmymotivation (July 1, 2005)

I'm a lot more into the music. I went to their myspace and heard their second song first, then heard their first and decided it was a lot better. The only way to really describe it is "warm."

LevitateMe (July 1, 2005)

the singer is the main reason why this is good

corpseofmymotivation (July 1, 2005)

In this last statement, I'd like to change "might" to "would."

corpseofmymotivation (July 1, 2005)

This might be good if the singer--and I use the term "singer" loosely--didn't sound like his tongue was ripped out.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

punknews.org is like pitchfork's retarded little brother.

LevitateMe (July 1, 2005)

I'd just like to mention that there are some similarities between my review and pitchfork's, but I submitted this a day or two before their review was posted. Ask Brian.

xwileyx (July 1, 2005)

"Oh, shut up. Toxic is one of the better pop songs of all time. Beatles, Queen, R.E.M inclusive."

Ok I'm open to al types of music and like plenty of rap but 50 cent and Britney spears? I remeber toxic and was not a horrible song but say that it was better than like 90% of the music for the last year is joke no one will remember than song in a few years infact I imagine a lot of people already have on the otheer hand people will remember stuff from like Bjork or other bands that wright their own songs and have more of appeal than just a catching song with skimpy clothing

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

Please when you say good music, refence it to good music. Ie Circle Takes The Square.

Because you led me on. Bastard.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

pitchfork is cool....sometimes

please remove your tongues from their asses now

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

Also, this review reads like a Pitchfork review, except the writer clearly is rehashing all the new ideas he has read about.

- Pitchfork Fan

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

Pitchfork is my favorite website.

Okay, do Pitchfork gives this band a pretty high rating, I think a 9.0 for the review, and suddenly they are trying not to piss themselves? Why is this reviewer trying to make this into some Pitchfork-bashing contest.

The truth is...most of the music on this site blows. It would not even be worth hearing, let alone be reviewed on Pitchfork. So punknews.org, your lucky to get to review a cd that sounds as fun as this.

- Pitchfork Fan

BlAquaCadetZstyles (July 1, 2005)

And for you kids who aren't down with Arcade Fire, just try giving it another listen. I took me six or seven listens to even begin to "get it". Maybe it'll wear on you. It'll be worth it if it does.

BlAquaCadetZstyles (July 1, 2005)

"what makes Pitchfork a joke for me: the fact that on thier singles of the year such bands as 50 cent and britney spears were like in the top ten hey fuck you irony!"

Oh, shut up. Toxic is one of the better pop songs of all time. Beatles, Queen, R.E.M inclusive.

If they don't include things that are popular they get shit on for being too indie for school and if they do they get shit on for doing the ironic "Three sicks in the hizzouse" thing. Ever thought that maybe they just liked the songs? Give it up. I can understand not being a big fan of their reviews, I guess. But hating on their choices for the top 100 (I stress the one hundred part. That's a lot of singles. I probably couldn't name 100 indie/dancehall/whatever obscure genre you can think of singles released this year.) for getting airplay is exactly what's wrong with punk today. Too many kids hating on stuff just because it's popular in the wrong circles.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

pitchfork is the savior

Karasu (July 1, 2005)

No, this sucks. Its not enjoyable at all. I wasted my time downloading this shit, therefor I CAN bitch about it.

Scores for stating what you feel and not listening to people telling you to shut up.

up da blog punx.

xwileyx (July 1, 2005)

what makes Pitchfork a joke for me: the fact that on thier singles of the year such bands as 50 cent and britney spears were like in the top ten hey fuck you irony!

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

I ain't sayin' I don't enjoy Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, but pitchfork blows nonetheless

As for them going to real colleges, one of the writers is a rising sophomore at my university. Kind of a pretentious asshole really. He's one of the better writers though

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

exactly

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

I think you guys need to chill the fuck out and just enjoy music. If it's not your type of music, get over it and listen to what you like. There's no use in bashing a fun band that isn't doing you any harm. Jesus, what happened to music being fun.

Inspection12e (July 1, 2005)

Arcade Fire is all hype no substance.

Karasu (July 1, 2005)

Fuck my ass but what are you people wasting you time with? This is the worst release of the year. This shits Lame, dont ride this fuck wagon.

aubin (July 1, 2005)

I also think some people don't like Pitchfork because their writers actually went to real colleges.

Hey! I went to not one but TWO universities. McMaster and the University of Toronto. Granted I didn't take English or anything, but I hope I learned something.

sickboi (July 1, 2005)

"I also think some people don't like Pitchfork because their writers actually went to real colleges."

No, I don't like Pitchfork because they tend to write like a piss-poor script for a Wes Anderson movie. Wacko to max-o.

A good review is like a pal talking to you about something that either sucks ass or kicks ass. Not some shitty attempt and wit and cleverness.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

El Vaquero, my tastes are pretty damn broad, to the point where I barely listen to anything on here anymore. Oh they could be broader... in fact, in many ways I tend to eat up whatever Pitchfork loves. But that doesn't mean I love Pitchfork. Far from it.

If you want to learn to hate Pitchfork, check out the Kid A review
or maybe the NYC Ghosts and Flowers (Sonic Youth) review

Pitchfork is a hype machine. Sometimes they find their own hype, sometimes they ride on others'. Sometimes they review the latest pop hit to say "Look dudes, we hipsters enjoy what the people enjoy!".

Everybody else has said the rest.

www.junkmedia.org
www.indieworkshop.com
www.punkplanet .com

sickboi (July 1, 2005)

"Why I don't like Pitchfork:

1. Their reviews are idiotically written. The whole self-referential meta-review schtick is not funny or interesting to anyone but a college sophomore.

2. I don't need some cerebral student nerd telling me what hip-hop is good.

3. They worship way too much mediocrity from the world of indie. Bloc Party? Gimme a break.

4. There are much better sources out there to read about the non-indie music they cover.

5. No site that jocks a band called "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah" can ever have any sort of credibility with anyone who's gotten past the whole "I'm ironic" stage. "Hey everybody! Clap your hands say yeah! Come on party people! Hehe!" Clap is the operative word here."

Brav-fucking-o. Couldn't have said it better myself.

sethcohen (July 1, 2005)

This review is pretty much dead on. This is my favorite album of the year easy.

It's funny how people make fun of bands with names like Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah but get think it is clever to name your band something that sounds like fat local guys playing hair metal (Pig Destroyer) after 80's movies when their fanbase was born between 1987 and 1994 (Say Anything) or simply something like NOFX. It's not like CYHSY sat around and tried to think of some ironic name. I also think some people don't like Pitchfork because their writers actually went to real colleges.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

Why I don't like Pitchfork:

1. Their reviews are idiotically written. The whole self-referential meta-review schtick is not funny or interesting to anyone but a college sophomore.

2. I don't need some cerebral student nerd telling me what hip-hop is good.

3. They worship way too much mediocrity from the world of indie. Bloc Party? Gimme a break.

4. There are much better sources out there to read about the non-indie music they cover.

5. No site that jocks a band called "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah" can ever have any sort of credibility with anyone who's gotten past the whole "I'm ironic" stage. "Hey everybody! Clap your hands say yeah! Come on party people! Hehe!" Clap is the operative word here.

gypsymazzurco (July 1, 2005)

Stop implying that David Byrne has a terrible voice.

theundergroundscene (July 1, 2005)

i love to read pitchfork

and i would also love it if someone sent me this album

aim name is in the profile

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

"I figured out why no one on this site likes Pitchfork. The only reviews from that site that people from this site read are the ones of punk bands. Now if you're coming from a broad musical perspective (read: lots of different genres) but based in indie rock, most punk is going to be pretty dismissable. Shit like Alkaline Trio is going to sound like a turd from someone that isn't based in punk rock. Now, as many people on this site are pretty immature when it comes to music, they're going to see a quick dismissal of their favorite band and become completely enraged. They don't understand this scene and they don't care to. That's fine! They're not Punknews.org

You need a broader range of music to be able to read a broader range of reviews. The reviews where they actually know what they're talking about are often astoundingly well-written, something I appreciate. But if you only like Punk Rock, then you should only read Punk Rock reviews and ignore the sites that don't cater to your (limited) taste.

I've never heard of this band."

True, but the same narrowminded fools will also follow anything a "respected" "punk" source tells them is good. Punk Planet is the biggest one out there.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

what, when did this site turn into pitchfork?

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

they got potential. but this isnt the album. lets please listen to xiu xiu or the new lows. give em a few more records. and then maybe. just maybe. But for FREE i guess its ok.

ElVaquero (July 1, 2005)

I figured out why no one on this site likes Pitchfork. The only reviews from that site that people from this site read are the ones of punk bands. Now if you're coming from a broad musical perspective (read: lots of different genres) but based in indie rock, most punk is going to be pretty dismissable. Shit like Alkaline Trio is going to sound like a turd from someone that isn't based in punk rock. Now, as many people on this site are pretty immature when it comes to music, they're going to see a quick dismissal of their favorite band and become completely enraged. They don't understand this scene and they don't care to. That's fine! They're not Punknews.org

You need a broader range of music to be able to read a broader range of reviews. The reviews where they actually know what they're talking about are often astoundingly well-written, something I appreciate. But if you only like Punk Rock, then you should only read Punk Rock reviews and ignore the sites that don't cater to your (limited) taste.

I've never heard of this band.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

The evolution of a Pitchfork music reviewer.

-Go to a college or university and start getting aquanted with college radio and all the lastest and greatest college bands that will never (or for the next couple of months) get played on commercial radio.
-Start to assume that your musical tastes are much more superior and refined to everyone elses and that you are on the pulse of what is ground breaking music.
- Be sure that you are enrolled in a BA program and take plenty of English Literature courses.
- Now begin to assume that your intelligence is greater than most everyone around you.
- Because your intelligence is so high you must now believe that your musical tastes are even more refined than ever before even though you are still listening to the same crap on the same crappy college radio station.
- Write a brilliantly worded review on an album that has had a profound effect on your young college life that will impress the world.
- Pitchfork will then pick you up and send you stuff that doesn't get played on your favourite college radio program. Dub it "stupid" and write a million 1000 word reviews that completely miss the point because you actually have no idea what you're talking about, but you used big words so every other jerkoff out there just like you will take your word for it.

CellarDoor (July 1, 2005)

The album of the year will be Minus The Bear's.

Marlon (July 1, 2005)

My friend who reviews for Pitchfork says that he doesn't agree with everyone else and that this hugely overated. According to him it's just ok... I haven't smuggled it for myself yet so I'll refrain from comment.

xwileyx (July 1, 2005)

yeah I've been reading around and it seems like this band is set up to be the super indie rock band for the next like six months, start getting radio play everywere in like a month or two and don't get me wrong it not bad but I don't think they can be overhyped like arcade fire or wilco b/c well they just are not anything crazy insane just sound like the talking heads mixed in with yo la tengo whatever i could be wrong and am way tired

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

album of the year

stevejonestherealbones (July 1, 2005)

fuck this mellow hippy shit. and no offense but i dont want to read all kinds of words and shit

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

amazing band...enough said.

crazytoledo (July 1, 2005)

whats with the shitty band names?

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