A decade after releasing their 2015 self titled debut album, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah marked the occasion with a special 10th Anniversary re-issue. July 6th 2018 sees their 2008 sophomore release Some Loud Thunder get the 10th Anniversary treatment. Remastered by T.W. Walsh and available for the first time on vinyl, the re-issue will also feature 6 additional live tracks.
The 11 studio offerings of Some Loud Thunder are produced by former Mercury Rev bassist and Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann and were penned as a response to the unexpected beam of attention that focused itself on the band following the release of their debut album. At a time when making it off your own back without major label backing was a rare phenomenon, bassist Tyler Sargent took to mailing copies of the album out of his apartment and soon music press titans such as the NME and Pitchfork were heaping praise at their door.
Front man Alec Ounsworth explains this attention was mostly “Not unwelcome but still uncomfortable”. “Depending on who you asked, in 2007 the band was known alternatively as the “real thing” or a flash in the pan, a band who presented a new paradigm for independent music or whose model was based on sheer luck, a band simply enjoying the process of creation or a (relatively) new band struggling to maintain some sort of illusory artistic foothold.”
The annoyance Ounsworth felt at the journalistic pursuit of discovering the ‘secret’ of the band, was the driving force of the record. He continues “The irritation that it caused me in interviews, reviews, etc. was, to a large degree, what drove the creation of the album. Mostly, this is evidenced in the songs, Some Loud Thunder (“Yes, that was me breaking glass and pretending to start something big, some new taste”) and Satan Said Dance (“Satan “here as the transitory faction of an audience which tends to disappear as soon as any chances are taken), but in others as well.”
It’s this mission statement that kicks off the album with Some Loud Thunder that has the progressions of a powerful, epic show piece, reimagined with lo-fi frustration. Some Loud Thunder as an album is a heavier and more slickly produced record than the debut and tracks like Emily Jean Stock and Goodbye to The Mother Cove are awash with Phil Specteresque layers and towering vocals. Ounsworth’s soaring, cracked voice saturates Mama, Won’t You Keep Them Castles in the Air and Burning? before eventually rolling out in a tide of faint harmonies. CYHSY step away from the fuzz drenched sound they’re usually associated with, for the foreboding vocal line and stark piano motif of Love Song No7, while single release Satan Said Dance has more of the glossy, dance edged production of LCD Soundsystem than the ragged melodies of the debut. Fans of the band will no doubt love the fact this reissue is available of vinyl. Alex Ounsworth said on this record’s original release, that he’d envisioned a sound that should be listened to via the medium of stylus. For anyone who’s newcomer to CYHSY, this album reissue is a fantastic entry point into their five studio albums. Especially if you’re a fan of Flaming Lips, David Byrne or Mogwai. Both demographics though, will appreciate the addition of the bonus live tracks that really capture the chops of CYHSY as a live band.
Ounsworth himself sums up the record;
“From the abrasive first track (which was not as much of a fuck you as some think but rather that it simply worked) to the final disintegrating“give up give up give up give up give up” on the song, Five Easy Pieces, documents a band that was comfortable taking big chances, somewhat aware of the consequences of taking chances (in an industry that often seems allergic to veering off the beaten path) but ignoring them all the same. For this, maybe most of all, I am very proud of this album. For true fans, who allow the opportunity to take such chances and are not afraid to embrace what may at first seem difficult or different, I am eternally grateful.”
The 10thAnniversary reissue of Some Loud Thunder is released July 6th and can be pre-ordered here.