Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Hysterical - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Hysterical

by Dan Clay Rating:8.5 Release Date:2011-09-12

There must be something in New York's Hudson river, for not long after Brooklyn's finest The National released their best album to date in High Violet, along come close neighbours Clap Your Hands Say Yeah with their best as well.

After a disappointing and distorted follow up (2007's Some Live Thunder) to their 2005 eponymous debut, CYHSY have obviously decided a break was needed. Four years later, Hysterical signals a real return to form, barely pausing for breath from the off. Both opener 'Same Mistake' and the title track display a freshness and vibrancy combined with frantic melody. 'Hysterical' zips along at speed, while the former, the album's lead single, is probably the best thing the band's done to date.

After a short pause for reflection on "The glory of a misspent youth, trading sex for drugs" on 'Misspent Youth', 'Maniac' continues the brash and breezy vibe, fizzing along with Alec Ounsworth's trademark vocals, while 'Into Your Alien Arms' sounds like a long lost Cure nugget from the mid-90s, all distortion and epic crescendo.

After a mid-way acoustic segment, another gem, 'Yesterday, Never', brings us electronic backing and a rousing finale before 'Siesta (for Snake)' adds an early Killers sound - no bad thing at all. Closing tracks 'The Witnesses' Dull Surprise" and 'Adam's Plane' bring a more melancholy egde; the latter building to a lengthy 'Bohemian Rhapsody'-style crescendo over seven minutes as a wall of sound threatens to engulf both lyrics and melody.

After which we're left with an album which not only deserves to re-establish CYHSY as an exciting post-Killers alternative, but also stake a claim for one of the best albums of the year. Go on then, give them some applause.

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