Creative independence among five gentlemen from Connecticut birthed a band called Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and, since their self-titled debut album, the edgy artists have spawned a second genre-defying album, “Some Loud Thunder.”
The band has been compared to Modest Mouse and The Shins, but those are still a stretch. As an indie-rock band, CYHSY not only brings their electric razzle-dazzle to the table but staunch lyrics that have something unusual to say. And that’s exactly what every song on the new album voices by music and by mouth. Nothing is the usual, and it seems to be working for CYHSY.
The opening track of “Some Loud Thunder” takes your senses by force with a disturbingly loud bass. There is a mess of brassy vocals, steady drums and a hypnotizing sound that can only be described as fuzzy. Paralyzing any available instincts, there is an unexpected desire to listen to the rest of the album because it’s unfamiliar, not the typical three minutes of sounds and jargon we’ve come to expect.
Perhaps that’s what makes the album a great choice.
There’s something both alluring and hypnotic in songs like “Love Song No. 7” and “Satan Said Dance.” The mesmerizing combination of synthesized sounds and subtle accordion helps to create an eerie aesthetic. Excitement is unraveled beneath bright layers of word repetition and classical harmonizing.
In some songs you can hear the past, along with Beatles-inspired sound, and then when least expected, sudden clashes of electronic beeps and bleeps give the band its flaring originality. It’s pretty, but it’s ugly too, and that’s okay.
The tenth track, “Underwater (You & Me),” might be the album’s crowned jewel. The celebratory array of instruments team up with optimistic lyrics that shed light on a forbidden romance. The lyrics speak of fleeing and disguising, and running away with love to live underwater, which could be a metaphor for living a sheltered and inconvenienced life because of love. The song is true and bold – much like the heart of the album.
In the end, when you listen to the experimental sounds that make up “Some Loud Thunder,” you’ll thank yourself for looking past the rigid ambiance and diving straight into the next song, head first. Then you’ll give yourself a hand for checking out Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.