...A solid second coming for CYHSY, but those expecting an album as ground-breaking as...
Nikolai Michault 2007
Some Loud Thunder hails the return of the original DIY band. In 2005, before the Arctic Monkeys began their fan-assisted rise, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah emerged from Manhattan with a self-produced album that - with the help of the internet - sold over 100,000 copies. Their sound blended the unrefined hum of the Velvet Underground with danceable rhythms and pure pop melodies. Although this formula returns for their second album, this time around some things are different.
In its whole, Some Loud Thunder is less commercial and more introspective than the first self-titled album. Where the former was impulsive this one pauses for thought. With plenty of distortion, layers of Beatle-esque harmonies, and raspy vocals spat out by Alec Ounsworth, it’s enthusiastically raw.
The title track kicks it all off with the band’s magic formula at its best. By track 2, the lush "Emily Jean Stock", it seems like the mood for the album has been set. However, a couple of songs later and the flow is interrupted with "Love Song No. 7". This shows a new colour in the palette of CYHSY, reminiscent of the Stranglers and is, in turn, melancholic and haunting. This setts you up only to knock you down again with the following number, "Satan Said Dance". It’s the most upbeat track on the album and has the sound of a single in the making. From here onwards though, the album winds down, getting darker while often losing steam. However there are still highlights, including the intimate moment of "Arm and Hammer" and the peppy "Yankee Go Home".
So, a solid second coming for CYHSY, but those expecting an album as ground-breaking as their debut may leave unsatisfied.