Release Date: Jan 30, 2007
Record label: [self-released]
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Could this be the most contrary band on the planet? Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's first album was an acquired taste, largely because singer Alec Ounsworth insists on yapping like a puppy being throttled. Anyone who managed to find enjoyment in that strangulated yelp might expect an easier ride from the follow-up album, but oh no: it takes umpteen listens to appreciate the myriad beauties of Some Loud Thunder. Its primary problem is that, unlike the debut, it lacks any uplifting anthem to draw in listeners and encourage them to persevere.
A ton of people had their eyes trained on this sophomore release and it's difficult to give it a fair shake once you've muled-up to the "pre-order" download carrot and subsequent hype. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's debut was a decent, giddy first album -- not the end-all, be-all, "best indie release ever" that it was willed to be by fans and critics. It was just a good record that fortunate events conspired to elevate beyond its own scope and capabilities.
The success of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's self-titled, self-released, and self-distributed 2005 debut album overshadowed the music itself as the album came to epitomize the power of industry buzz in the digital age. Some Loud Thunder, the long-awaited follow-up by the Philadelphia/Brooklyn-based quintet, struggles to overcome this hype but makes good overall. If anything, the title track is an attempt to debunk the band's own cultish status and to freak-out fair-weather fans as singer Alec Ounsworth's slurred vocals are fed through an abrasive distortion device that peels the skin off your yellow country teeth.