(Clap Your Hands Say)
So they release their own Cds which gives me a little chubby because that is the definition of independence. But perfect independence does not a perfect Cd make.
Whimsy. Their songs rely on pulling the listener into an ephemeral land of whimsy and dance-able delight. The tone that emerges from the singers mouth does not lend to serious subject matter. Likewise, half the time I cannot understand what the damn dude is saying. He draws out words at weird parts adding some variety to the self same indy songwriting mold, but does so in such a matter that it becomes difficult, almost cacophonous to listen to. Indeed, I was listening to this Cd hungover the other day. I couldn’t get through more than two songs. Part of its appeal is the high pitched whine of the vocalist and his back-ups but not when you have the pealing ring of alcohol echoes accompanying the tracks.
I’ve listened to the album sober, more than once and I cannot find anything especially exciting or noteworthy. “Love Song no. 7” has a delightful tempo, alternating between piano driven slowdowns mixed with a slew of instrumentation and the whine, the ever present whine.
What happened to the dance beats. The distinguishing factor from their first album was the tightly constructed dance rhythms mixed with unpredictable vocal accompaniments. One super exception is “Satan Said Dance” which is also an awesome song title. It is fast paced, mysterious, and concludes with a joyful repetition of the song’s title. Nothing makes this boy want to dance like Satan. The ending tumble reminds me of Bloc Party at their best with an unstoppable catchy drum beat. Satan did indeed say dance.
Unfortunately, those songs are back to back and leave a lot to be desired elsewhere. I wanted something to sit on top of the foundation for fun they built with their first album but they have opted to slow things down and run long songs of less than inspired lyrics and music. “Yankee Go Home,” displays a potential for slowing things down the right way with an interesting tale to follow, but by this time in the album I either was not listening or my attention had wavered to the shifting afternoon shadows in my apartment.
5/10 Beats per minute short of a dance song.