Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, ‘Hysterical’ (Self-Released)
Say what you will about Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, but their much-hyped 2005 debut and surprisingly buoyant (and largely derided) ’07 follow-up couldn’t be accused of lacking nervous energy. Hysterical, by contrast, is anything but — it’s an overly gauzy, booming-echo epic that doesn’t leave much trace after it’s over. Frontman Alec Ounsworth still sounds best when hiccupping over fast-paced (and poppy!) nerve-wrackers like “Ketamine and Ecstasy” and “Idiot.” But mostly he resembles Destroyer’s Dan Bejar fronting a shoegaze/art-pop combo, with an emotional distance that only underlines CYHSY’s weaknesses. Our current DIY age notwithstanding, here’s an argument for A&R interference.