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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder (Cover Artwork)

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Some Loud ThunderSome Loud Thunder (2007)
self-released

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: greg0rbgreg0rb
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Who needs a record label? After gaining huge internet buzz in early 2005, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah personally shipped massive amounts of their self-titled album until it grew beyond what they could handle. I'm sure they could have had their pick of the label litter, but instead they just got some he.
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Who needs a record label? After gaining huge internet buzz in early 2005, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah personally shipped massive amounts of their self-titled album until it grew beyond what they could handle. I'm sure they could have had their pick of the label litter, but instead they just got some help on the distribution and other odds and ends (I do believe they have a UK label, however). So the guys are still doing things their way yet have a name that can help them grab a producer like Dave Friedmann, whose work you've heard on albums by Sleater-Kinney, Thursday and most notably the Flaming Lips, who grabbed him a Grammy for At War with the Mystics in the Best Engineered Album category. Now none of this background info would mean much without great tunes, and after spending a solid month with this album I think it delivers them but not without a few flaws. Now that the hype on them has died down a bit, can haters open up to the actual music?

Some Loud Thunder comes roaring out of the gate with an unexpected move from a band who should be wary of sophomore jinxes and utilizing the renowned producer who is at their disposal. But that just wouldn't be their style, would it? The album's title track has the levels up waaaaaay too high and is clipping at every possible moment, everything booming, buzzing and distorted. To get a clearer picture, pop in Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and listen to when the drums kick in on "Holland, 1945" where it sounds like it just blew out your damn speakers. Like with NMH, you can tell there is a great song behind the fuzz. Cowbell, tambourine and handclaps keep the steady drumbeat company while a bendy guitar lead glazes around Alec Ounsworth's slurred vocals which crescendo into a fevered shout.

"Emily Jean Stock" returns the band to cleaner production, but still gives a jolt when the mostly drum-less track bursts with a distorted sampled bit of drummer Sean Greenhalgh cutting in and out suddenly, which made me think instantly of the effect achieved by Gnarls Barkley on their "Just a Thought." While Friedmann is known for big drums and crazy effects on his work with the Flaming Lips, he merely opens up the band's arsenal and gives them a fuller sound from their dry debut, but for the most part he sits back and lets the band to do their thing.

Perhaps he could have guided them more actually, for some tracks come off as underdeveloped. "Upon Encountering the Crippled Elephant" is a short instrumental waltz featuring accordion, but it seems merely a studio exercise. I guess it tops the little musicbox interludes that popped up on their debut. "Satan Said Dance" is fun on first listen with all the synth bleeps 'n bloops over a disco beat, and who doesn't like singing "satan" repeatedly? But upon further inspection, the song has little lyrical content and makes little progression musically through its too-long five and a half minutes.

Over repeated listens, "Yankee Go Home" has emerged as my favorite song, being in my favorite under-utilized meter (6/8) and finding Ounsworth playing with silly rhymes ("Honolulu / How do you do?"). "Arm and Hammer" has a harsh mix like the opener, but it isn't as jarring because it starts with only acoustic guitar and vocals in a bedroom recording style, but when the full band breaks out and shakes the place the effect is fantastic.

"Underwater (You and Me)" is a great tune despite its repetitive nature -- a steady drumbeat and single chord progression last the entire song with the chorus vocal repeating for the last two minutes to fade the song out, but even that gives a dreamlike almost hypnotic effect. This song could have fit in on their debut, but "Love Song No. 7" showcases their growth in the songwriting department. The band swells the song with sparse percussion over the piano's â??oom-pah' push, building to dizzying harmonized vocal â??ahh's and marching snare drum rolls.

On their debut, the songs were mostly straight ahead indie-dance songs with consistent drum beats, guitars and keys throughout their duration; here the band is more aware of songs building from point A to point B and not remaining stagnant. "Mama, Won't You Keep Them Castles in the Air and Burning?" is a perfect example, building from atmospheric to jangly pop and back again.

This isn't a perfect album, but I think the quirks and experimental tendencies of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are what make them great. A perfect album in most eyes would probably require them to stick with a formula from their â??hits' and that would be a drag. Some Loud Thunder finds the band testing new directions and instruments and exploring the studio. Remember in your comments that the band will not be reading them, and that they don't give a shit about what you, or I for that matter, have to say about them, and will probably continue doing their own thing for quite some time. I for one enjoy the record and am excited for what the future holds for them.

 

 
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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.
Anonymous (March 12, 2007)

im surprised so many people didn't like this album! despite a few dull moments (Five Easy Pieces, Castles In The Sky), it's easily leagues ahead of their debut. personally im not one who's interested in indie hype, but if that's what's keeping you from listening to this album do yourself a favour and swallow your pride. best release of the year so far!

PunkTillDeath (March 12, 2007)

awful band

Anonymous (March 11, 2007)

Drop your pants go poop

freesandwich (March 11, 2007)

oops forgot the score :)

freesandwich (March 11, 2007)

clap your hands and say shut the fuck up!

Anonymous (March 10, 2007)

i CAN'T STAND the guys voice. Even if the band was playing the most breath-taking, mind shaking, body twerp inducing, revolutionary, incredible music, their singer would still drive it into a pile of shit with his awful on-purpose voice cracks and botched notes.

- Cedric

HellofaSandwich (March 10, 2007)

Steaming overhyped crap.

The new Arcade Fire is pretty good, though, so don't pretend like I have a kneejerk bias against annoying buzz bands.

Anonymous (March 10, 2007)

"Yeah, very true. The first time I heard "King of Carrot Flowers Parts 2 & 3, I was not thinking I was going to like the band one bit. Good thing I've got an open mind, because that is probably one of the five greatest albums of all time. You make a good point with your argument as well. Still, let Anonymous be as closed minded as he/she wants. I guess if they like almost everything they hear (they're words, not mine), and still won't give this band a chance, they probably don't know how to weed out the bullshit from the great stuff anyway. I would love to see what this person listens to, because it's probably pretty laughable.

Jim"

i didn't say i liked everything i hear. i said i liked almost all the records i buy because i buy things selectively. and the point behind that is that, by buying classic albums, albums recommended to me by trusted friends, or bands that i have seen and liked, i almost always end up with stuff i really like. when i buy stuff by the latest, uber-internet hyped, super hip for college kids album, i find that i usually strongly dislike it. and what i am currently listening to, for the record, is nick cave, leonard cohen, coalesce, (early) wu-tang clan, shellac, the velvet underground and cursed.

and i liked in the aeroplane over the sea the first time i heard it.

leecorsoisapenis (March 10, 2007)

"how many neutral milk hotel fans do you think liked in the aeroplane over the sea the FIRST TIME they heard it?"

Yeah, very true. The first time I heard "King of Carrot Flowers Parts 2 & 3, I was not thinking I was going to like the band one bit. Good thing I've got an open mind, because that is probably one of the five greatest albums of all time. You make a good point with your argument as well. Still, let Anonymous be as closed minded as he/she wants. I guess if they like almost everything they hear (they're words, not mine), and still won't give this band a chance, they probably don't know how to weed out the bullshit from the great stuff anyway. I would love to see what this person listens to, because it's probably pretty laughable.

Jim

Anonymous (March 10, 2007)

heh, the indie kid is pissed.

indie_is_better_than_punk (March 10, 2007)

wow the ignorance level in this thread is on par with what you'd find at a fuckin' larry the cable guy show. get 'r done guys!

first of all, who the fuck cares about a band's name? if the music is good, it's good. if it sucks, it sucks. that's all there is to it.
second, you guys obviously don't even read pitchfork before you make judgments about it becuase if you did you know they didn't even LIKE this album.
third, this album is absolutely amazing and, like all the best albums, it takes a few listens to digest it and realize its genius. if you just listen to three tracks and turn it off, of course you won't like it. DUH. how many neutral milk hotel fans do you think liked in the aeroplane over the sea the FIRST TIME they heard it?
as far as i'm concerned, nothing that has come out in at least the past two years touches this. and go ahead and called me affected by blog hype, etc., becuase you'll just make yourself look ignorant. i challenge you to find at least a somewhat well-known blog that would even say this is better than the band's debut (it is much better, but none agree with me on that), not to mention better than everything released in the past 2 years.

score is for the album. i can't think of many i own that i would give the same rating.

Anonymous (March 10, 2007)

""perhaps it will occasionally lead to me missing out on good bands, but given the shit that i will probably also miss, i think it's a fair trade-off."

How sad for you."

hardly. the way i pursue music now, i like almost all the stuff that i find. checking out the latest over-hyped, trend of the moment band on the off-chance that they might be good is going to lead to a much lower percentage of good stuff.

Anonymous (March 10, 2007)

Worst band name ever.

Archangel (March 10, 2007)

"perhaps it will occasionally lead to me missing out on good bands, but given the shit that i will probably also miss, i think it's a fair trade-off."

How sad for you.

Anonymous (March 10, 2007)

"I like how people think this band sucks even though they've never heard them. "OMG, Pitchfork media likes these guys, so they must be indie hipsters, OMG, this sucks, I hate their name. This shouldn't be reviewed on punknews.org, because it's not teh punx." Fucking please. Get over yourself. Go ahead and keep listening to your Fall Out Boy, you damned dirty punx.

BTW, very well written review. You actually took the time to tell people what the band actually sounds like. Well done. Score is for the review.

Jim"

for the same reason i wouldn't listen to a band called "bullet for my valentine" whose fanbase is primarily 15-year old girls, i don't want to listen to a band with a name as obnoxiously ironic as "clap your hand say yeah" and that primarily appeals to pretentious college kids who read pitchfork. it has nothing to do with not liking things that aren't "punk" or listening fall out boy (i don't), it has to do with trying to dodge annoying trends. perhaps it will occasionally lead to me missing out on good bands, but given the shit that i will probably also miss, i think it's a fair trade-off.

Anonymous (March 10, 2007)

I like how people think this band sucks even though they've never heard them. "OMG, Pitchfork media likes these guys, so they must be indie hipsters, OMG, this sucks, I hate their name. This shouldn't be reviewed on punknews.org, because it's not teh punx." Fucking please. Get over yourself. Go ahead and keep listening to your Fall Out Boy, you damned dirty punx.

BTW, very well written review. You actually took the time to tell people what the band actually sounds like. Well done. Score is for the review.

Jim

givemeamuseumandillfillit (March 10, 2007)

I liked the title too, but i didn't read the reasoning behind not using it, anyone care to point me in the right direction?

Anonymous (March 10, 2007)

I know that everyone thinks that I'm the guy responsible for taking Calentura's singer out to dinner at Warped last year, but someone in the comments section of the review of our latest split said that, actually, the dater guy was "Sobe" of Volcom Entertainment, and that he's been sucked and "lubed up." Can anyone confirm the absurdity of this statement? Anyone?

Review in question: http://www.punknews.org/review/666

Retarded Faggot/ LEFT ALONE

Anonymous (March 10, 2007)

Their first album really had a few songs worth getting excited about. This album has some alright things to it, but not really that interesting of an album and you'll see that Pitchfork etc is not all over their jock like they were in October 2005 or whatever... and they'll lose a ton of steam until they make a good third album or else they'll be done, in terms of that huge momentum they had going for them.

Also, I liked the proposed title for Bomb the Music Industry's Goodbye Cool World, but I also really dig the reasoning behind the decision not to go with.

Anonymous (March 10, 2007)

this album sucks and so does rape!

Holy_Balls (March 9, 2007)

If I wanted to read a review on this band, I would go to pitchfork. Or I would read Rolling Stone or Spin. Oh, this band sucks ass.

Anonymous (March 9, 2007)

it's probably petty, but this band has an uber-obnoxious hipster name and is jocked by pitchfork and all the mindless pitchfork sheep, which alone is enough to make me not want to hear them.

kill_whitey (March 9, 2007)

In response to the Elvis/Left Alone...i hadn't heard about this before...so i did a little research...i came across this interview with the girl...the whole thing is really fucked up...it seems that all you would need to do to clear your name is to give a DNA sample...you should have done this back when there was an investigation if you were really innocent

I was somewhat disturbed when I read the mention of a rape swept under the table. Can you elaborate on that?

Yes. We had a day off before the Calgary show. Everyone from the tour was hanging out and drinking. I was drinking a little bit, but I can never drink a lot because it dries out my vocal chords. So I have a rule that when Iâ??m out I will never drink more than two drinks. Thatâ??s just my way of keeping tabs on myself so I never blow it and end up not being able to sing the next day. Any vocalist will tell you they do that.

I was sitting on the steps playing guitar and around 11:00pm I went inside to go to the bathroom. When I was going back Hector from Epitaph waved me in to the bar and offered me a drink. I took it but I remember drinking it very slowly because that would be my last drink. I was also leaving it at the table and running around to talk to a million people, like an asshole. I was sitting at a table with a bunch of people from the tour who I was just meeting for the first time.

All of a sudden, I started to get sick and dizzy, and feeling like I couldnâ??t stand. I remember being worried about how I was going to get out of there and get back to Kristina. I donâ??t remember anything else. I woke up the next morning with pain and blood in my vagina. The tour had left, so I called a cab and when I got there, I told Kristina and we went to the hospital. I got a rape kit done, they found semen, hairs and 4 inch lacerations in my vagina. They were concerned and I was too, because a predator on the Warped Tour could hurt so many people.

They called in sex crime detectives, who were wonderful. I spent the next week trying to find out what happened subtly. I found out that sometime around 12 or 12:30am I was seen in the room belonging to Bedoin Soundclash, whom I was friendly with and thought they were good kids. In the room with me were most of a band called Left Alone. I was told by the people who saw me, Patrick from Bedouin Soundclash and Elvis from Left Alone, that I wasnâ??t drinking, seemed out of it and was complaining of my stomach hurting. I also found out that the room I had slept in was Elias and Sobeâ??s, who worked for Volcom. I never found out how I got from the bar upstairs and who had brought me there.

A week later my detectives called the production office looking to get statements from the people I found out had seen me. When that happened, Kevin Lyman, got involved and promised me that it was the most important thing and he didnâ??t tolerate rape and he would going to find this person. I told him everything I knew about the night.

Then he talked to Elvis from Left Alone, who apparently told him that I was wasted, and trying to have an orgy with his band when he saw me, and that I was sitting on his bed wear a short skirt being provocative. Elvis told everyone on the tour that I wanted it, in addition he refused to serve any of my friends at the nightly barbeque. The one time I tried to confront him about his lies, he cursed at me, spit at me, and told me if I didnâ??t shut my mouth, I would regret it.

After he did that I left because I was really truly scared of what they would do to me. I never felt safe. I never felt like is something else happened to me, beyond being raped, that anyone would step up and stop it. I lived in constant anxiety, nightmares, agoraphobia, and panic, which is normal for someone who has suffered rape, but was extremely exacerbated by the total lack of support from everyone except Dana and Kristina.

When I tried to go to the people I had thought were my friends for help, (Patrick and Eon from Bedouin Soundclash, Kurt and Hector from Epitaph, and anyone from Elvisâ?? band) they ignored me. Sobe who had been with Kristina the night I got raped, told us that his boss told all of them not to speak to any of us or answer any of our questions. He was scared to be seen with us.

Kevin Lyman also never talked to me once after our initial meeting. Because of that I assumed that the gag order had come down from him. But later he told me that it hadnâ??t. At the very end of tour, when I finally approached him, he told me that he had known the whole summer I was terrified and that I thought that he ordered everyone to not talk to me, but he waited until I asked him flat out to tell me that it wasnâ??t him. Even though he had known. After our initial meeting he never once contacted me or supported me in any way. At the end of the summer, he told me he didnâ??t do anything because there was nothing he could do. It was just a matter for the police. Never mind that it was a traveling tour and the crime happened in Canada.

To get the production office to cooperate with my detectives was like pulling teeth. When I left the tour after Elvis threatened me, one of Kevinâ??s assistants called me and told me that I owed it to Kevin to come back and not make a big deal about it because Kevin had paid me in room and board all summer. I eventually did go back because if I left and had taken the man power of my band with me, the Shira stage would not have made it through the summer.

Twice during the rest of the tour I arranged for police to come take blood samples from people on the tour. They took samples from every person whose name was in the report. But unfortunately since someone had told all of them not to talk about what they had seen, or who they had seen me with, we were unable to get blood samples from anyone that was actually considered a suspect. That was completely heartbreaking to me.

At the end of the summer, when Kevin heard me talking to a girl who worked in catering about what had happened, he came over and told me that I should know he really cares because in 4 years his daughter will be 14, and he is a feminist, that I should admit that he did everything he could to help me, and that if I am still feeling bad about it I should go see a psychiatrist when I get home.

If I were to truly explain to you how that made me feel, you would be left bleeding heavily in a bath of salt. That pain is something MY father has felt, my mother has felt when she still wakes me up from my nightmares weekly. It is a burden that will never ever be lifted from my beloved boyfriend, and my best friends in my band who have born the fallout.

I blame Kevin Lyman because unlike the person who drugged and raped me, he knows the difference between right and wrong, And unlike that person, Kevin was in a position of power. I definantly blame the rapist for his crime, but more than him I blame Kevin and Volcom and Epitaph, and everyone else who put money, and business over human decency. I blame everyone in a position of power who looked the other way and let the criminal get away with it.

Kevin Lyman claiming his concern for me on the life of his daughter has burned me since the words came out of his mouth. And if anyone asks me why I waged war on the entire United States of America over this issue, I will tell you right now. It is for her. Because her father was too weak.

Anonymous (March 9, 2007)

Dave Friedmann only worked on ONE Sleater-Kinney album (The Woods).

DarrenMcLeod (March 9, 2007)

i enjoyed the debut, but i couldn't even get 3 songs into this one.

givemeamuseumandillfillit (March 9, 2007)

What the hell are you trying to pull? Ben, get him!

Hey_Asshole (March 9, 2007)

1) that anonymous guy needs to stop asking for sources on the rape accusation on EVERY FUCKING THREAD.

B) this band sucks

3) i am fucking tired of these fucking bands with long names. they are trying to be clever, but are failing. fuck them.

4) kill whitey

Archangel (March 9, 2007)

I loved the first album and I'll pick this up when I get the money.

Really well-written review, by the way.

indie_is_better_than_punk (March 9, 2007)

God this album is good.

Anonymous (March 9, 2007)

I know that everyone thinks that I'm the guy responsible for raping Calentura's singer at Warped last year, but someone in the comments section of the review of their latest split said that, actually, the rapist was "Sobe" of Volcom Entertainment, and that he's been tried and "locked up." Can anyone confirm the validity of this statement? Anyone?

Review in question: http://www.punknews.org/review/5712

Elvis/ LEFT ALONE

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