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coverpic flag US - New York - Full Moon 110 - 09/18/05

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Immediately after putting on this album for the first time I was clapping my hands and shouting "Yeah!", because this is one of the big surprises of the year. The New York quintet sound indeed fresh and wild, as being an ideal occasion for clapping and shouting. Ravishing freak-beat-pop from outer pop-space.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's debut album Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (released on their own label, yes,...Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) holds 12 tracks, including a couple of short instrumentals. If you're into Neutral Milk Hotel (NMH) and/or related stuff this record is the sure thing for you. Front-man (?) Alec Ounsworth's voice has even a strong resemblance to the vocal organs of Jeff Mangum (of NMH). But there are also strong signs of classic Talking Heads. Anyway, the record kicks off (or, maybe rather claps off...) with "Clap Your Hands!" - an organ and tambourine driven chant drenched with charm. Songs like "Let The Cool Goddess Rust Away" "Details of the War", and "Is This Love?" have got the strongest resemblances towards NMH, while "The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth" has this Talking Heads feel (David Byrne-like vocals), ending with a touch of the rhythms (and melodic bass lines) of legendary New Zealand band the Bats. I even find some (tiny) traces of early New Order in here. Imagine everything conducted by David Thomas of Pere Ubu.

Seems like there's another wave of 'new wave' (1980s style) going on in the underground, surfacing with bands like The Arcade Fire. I really hope Clap Your Hands Say Yeah could stir the surface as well. Not because they've made a groundbreaking album, but because they've come up with a highly amusing and entertaining platter made of pure energy and skilled song carpentry resulting in some thrilling, crooked pop. Give'em a big hand! Yeah!!

Copyright © 2005 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

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