Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Some Loud Thunder (2007)

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s latest album Some Loud Thunder is a sonic depiction of the dissolution of modern society. The album opens with the title track which presents a fairly normal rock song with a slight twist: the song sounds like it was improperly recorded to the disc. But this is not a mistake, it was an intentional production choice on the part of the band. It shows how modern structures–while still standing–are no longer paragons of vitality and relevance. The album then descends into darkness and nihilism, only occasionally punctuated by rays of hope and normalcy.
Much of the songs are equivalent to modernist poetry, using verbal dissonance to convey the brokenness and alienation that is part of daily life in the world. “Things are not as you would have them, I’m no man and you’re no woman.” These lyrics are a moment of despairing lucidity in “Mama, Won’t You Keep Them Castles in the Air and Burning?” before the singer plunges into several minutes of fragmented lyrics. And though the record is punctuated throughout with similar expressions of hopelessness and disjointed-ness, the sun pokes through occasionally. On “Emily Jean Stock” the song closes with the almost whispered chant, “Some day we’re going to make it all right.”

But ultimately, the album ends in the same darkness that it opened, chanting disillusionment, and spilling fragmented verbiage into the airwaves. Over all, an interesting but chilling listen.


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