It was with mild interest that I started listening to the new Clap your hands say yeah album. They’re a band that have gone off the boil to the point where they are now serving ice water. They could be used as a cautionary tale, warning this year’s new sensation of how things could go. ‘If you don’t watch out, you’ll end up like Clap your hands say Yeah’, and they’ll shudder at the thought.
I saw CYHSY in the Tripod in 2007, and the world seemed at their feet. They had played Ireland numerous times in the previous year in progressively bigger venues. They had reached one of the the comfortable mid size venues, and it seemed only a matter of time before they pushed on again. On the night the venue was heaving and for the duration of the gig, I worried about the floor, such was the bouncing that went on. It lives long in my mind, as one of ‘those nights’ where everything seemed perfect.
So what of the new album? Well, it’s pretty good actually! It’s the same screechy vocals, fast synths and buzzing guitars as their previous efforts and it has a few very impressive moments. Whatever they lost during the fallow period after ‘Some Loud Thunder’ in 2007 seems to have been replaced. We won’t even mention 2011’s Hysterical which peaked at no. 198 in the UK chart.
Matt Berringer of the National makes an appearance in ‘Coming down’, and his voice clashes with Ounsworth’s nasal tones in a song doesn’t really work.
At it’s best, the album is like the last ten years didn’t happen, and they start where they left off in their eponymously titled 2005 release. It’s like visiting the past, but sadly without the Biff’s sports almanac. You won’t be able to warn yourself not to buy that two bed apartment outside Budapest. Just enjoy this trip to hear a band that could have been playing Marlay park if things had fallen right for them.
Pitchfork doesn’t like them and I wouldn’t name drop them to too many of your hipster buddies, but if you’re looking for a nicely served slice of indie pop…
1. As Always 04:49
2. Blameless 03:03
3. Coming Down 03:43
4. Little Moments 03:10
5. Only Run 04:44
6. Your Advice 03:28
7. Beyond Illusion 03:59
8. Impossible Request 03:38
9. Cover Up 05:08