Hippo Manchester
November 3, 2005

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, 2005

***

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have some sac to open up an album with a track as annoying as “Clap Your Hands!”.  But for those who don’t instantly press the eject button after the abrasive opener, are rewarded with the expansive soundscape of “Let The Cool Goddess Rust Away”.  From there on you can clap your hands and feel better that you didn’t just toss your $10 away.

The Brooklyn quintet, have been setting MP3 blogs aflame while putting scenesters in a tizzy over the past month.  And who could blame them?  Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are the less than perfect combination of Arcade Fire sound, Modest Mouse style vocals and Interpol like atmosphere.  But sonically, that’s all they are, just a mish-mash of better bands.  What sets Clap Your Hands Say Yeah apart from their aforementioned colleagues is their carefree spirit.  They opt for light, airy tunes instead of your typical grave, shoegazing.

“Let The Cool Goddess Rust Away” sets the mood with lightly thumping drums and an engaging bass line.  The single worthy “The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth,” embodies the best elements of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah with edgy synth beats and a hook worthy of a spot on the Garden State soundtrack.  But by the time you reach the end of “Is This Love?” it’s easy to find Alec Ounsworth’s vocals grinding on your skull.   He often sounds as if he has channeled Modest Mouse front man Isaac Brock, after chugging a bottle of cough syrup, making many of his lyrics unintelligible.  Undeniably, this is the album’s only drawback, everything else works out well.  So sit down and relax indie kids, it’s probably the best you’re going to get until the new Strokes album next year.

— Dan Brian