Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Wichita Recordings, 2005

REVIEW BY: Mark Phillips


The second this album started to fill my bedroom with its glorious sounds the sun suddenly came out and burst through my window, just before my friend who had stopped by asked what the hell I was listening to. However, after listening to this gem of an album again and again, I have little doubt that this Brooklyn five-piece has produced one of the better albums I've ever had the privilege to hear.

The album opens with the band egging you on to clap your hands. It isn't long before you really want to. "Let the Cool Goddess Rust Away" is the first proper song in this album and is mind-blowingly good, even if I still don't know what it's about. This track typifies what Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are all about -- interlocking guitar lines, neat yet not intrusive drumming, nasal singing and damn good melodies. However, it's the third track, "Over and Over Again (Lost and Found)," that helped me to decide that this band simply rocked. I simply cannot contemplate a proper reason why this track hasn't being getting more airplay. The band's singer -- Alan Ounsworth -- sounds like David Byrne during a nasty trip to the dentist, a good thing indeed. Ounsworth's vocals shine through here and immediately take over the track.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

In terms of lyrics, this band don't cause much of a stir. The imagery used throughout is baffling, and not in a poetic, inspired fashion. At times, one wonders if they were just stuck for words and decided to look in a dictionary and try make up (dodgy) rhymes. Take this jumbled up piece from "In This Home Of Ice": "I don't know how you can stand next to me / You talk like a noose / And only confuse my perplexity." Or there's "The ravaged cabbage drifts / on dark red skies." It's just very difficult to think even CYHSY knew what they were on about when they penned these lyrics, which is a shame considering the quality of the music and vocals. It is worth noting that, despite me singling it out over its lyrics, "In This Home Of Ice" is a wonderful song with a brilliant melody and uplifting chorus.

The lyrics are the only complaint I have, though. The bottom line is that this album is amazing. The musical juxtaposition is probably the major selling point of CYHSY, with the union displayed between the guitar lines being very impressive indeed. Every single bar, from the opening tune to the final one, is masterfully written.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is a refreshing listen. They are a band on the verge of great things and this is an album that, assuming there is some fairness left in the musical domain, will find a place at the top of many a music fan's CD collection.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2006 Mark Phillips and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Wichita Recordings, and is used for informational purposes only.