Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Hysterical - SELF-RELEASED
FILTER Grade: 84%
By Dom Sinacola on September 20, 2011
Four years since Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s dense but unassuming Some Loud Thunder, Hysterical feels like it’s gestated so much longer. This is measured, adult music—The Wrens with a stricter work ethic—yet the centerpiece “Into Your Alien Arms” bears a wonderful sense of levity (thanks, in part, to Joe Congleton’s translucent production). “In a Motel” lays on the strings like mayonnaise on a cookie, but to hear Alec Ounsworth’s voice this confident is as much a fragrant relief as “Maniac”’s weird, chattering asides. It means this reunited band isn’t too far from the band that never broke up, that tried to do something ill-advised (Dave Fridmann) and unexpected (“Satan Said Dance”) only four super-short years ago. It’s straightforward, competently balanced, dewily lush art-pop, but it’s also a deeply affecting, immersive treat; a fully mature return from a band acting like they have something to prove. And maybe they’re right.