Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (CYHSY) were always going to struggle with their second album after the hype generated by their first. I’m sure most are familiar with their story, much like an American version of the Artic Monkeys. It goes something like this: un-signed band gives out demos at their gigs, geeky fans spread the word on the internet, the whole thing snowballs and wham, you’ve got yerself a bonafide phenomenon.
I must admit to being rather adverse to the whole ‘hype’ thing (did anyone actually listen to the Artic Monkeys? More like the shit-tic Monkeys) and failed to give the first CYHSY album a listen. Once again, keeping distance from the next big thing has been wise. The singer of this band sounds like the son of an arranged marriage between Frank Black and the guy from Modest Mouse. Not in a good way, mind. More like the son that neither parent wanted and adopted out as soon as it started making noises.
Now, singing isn’t everything, and clever production can help even the dodgiest of crooners. Not, however, on this album. Someone in the production team thought it might be nice to make half the album sound like you’re listening to it through a fucked set of car speakers. It’s not. Whenever the band starts to sound good they’re either swamped with a whole lot of fuzz or the singer decides it’s an opportune moment to start whining again.
There is one good track hidden away, though. The fifth track ‘Satan Said Dance’ is a great tune with an infectious disco beat and manic keys proving that somewhere there may have been good reason for the acclaim. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah? More like Clap Your Hands Say Probably Not.