CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH

Like the popular woodstain cliché, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah does exactly what it says on the tin.

It’s impossible to expect anything less than unmitigated joy from their eponymous debut and new album ‘Hysterical’

(though tonight is thankfully light on tracks from jarring sophomore effort ‘Some Loud Thunder’).

That new material largely embellishes upon the classic formula:

songs like ‘Same Mistake’ and ‘Hysterical’ have that familiar,

compulsive drumbeat backing the melodious guitars, now decorated with euphoric synth strings,

while slower numbers like ‘Idiot’ or ‘In A Motel’ turn Alec Ounsworth’s signature

caterwauling into beautiful yet mournful cries you wish you could decipher to uncover their true sentiment.

These more polished songs, however, do seem like mere echoes of earlier output when placed side-by-side,

reminding us what we preferred the first time round was the unashamed haphazardry of it all.

This is most clearly evidenced by the misstep of closing the set proper with a glorious trio of ‘Is This Love’, CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH

‘Yellow Country Teeth’ and ‘Tidal Wave of Young Blood’ the calfbusting kickdrum,

hyper-infectious basslines and Ounsworth’s wails echoed by the crowd

in a chorus of joyous delirium – which sadly left the encore falling short.

Not quite the glossy finish one would hope for, but with a little less polish, they could be good as new.

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