Sound and Fury 2-08-2007

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Some Loud Thunder Wichita Recordings; January 2007

When Brooklyn indie rockers Clap Your Hands Say Yeah debuted with its eponymous album in 2005, the group became the instant darling of the indie scene. How very disappointing then, that the sophomore slump hit so hard with Some Loud Thunder. Aesthetically speaking, this album is not very pleasing. Neophytes of indie rock will find themselves annoyed into the fetal position by singer Alec Ounsworth’s cartoony voice. And though the instrumental elements of the album are often quite good, I challenge you to listen to “Five Easy Pieces” without covering your ears. This album does have its moments, including “Underwater (You and Me)” and “Goodbye to Mother and the Cove,” but in the end, it pales in comparison to the first. —Levi Michaels

Marvin the Martian Hoods & Badges No Carbon/Universal; June 2006

On Hoods and Badges, Marvin the Martian drops beats similar to British hip-hop and the U.K. garage sound made popular by The Streets and Dizzee Rascal. The Martian takes his craft a step further by incorporating elements of the Grindie movement, using the basic beats you would find in this hard-edged, investigative rhyming style, and layering indie rock guitar riffs over it. This Brixton boy then mashes it up with samples from Can and Kate Bush, to name a few. Visit him on his MySpace page since you won’t find this EP in any of the shops here in town: — Patrick Moore

Menomena.jpgMenomena Friend & Foe Barsuk; January 2007

It’s difficult to describe the musical masterpiece and mindblowage that is Menomena. A band less known to the West Coast (yet booming in Portland, Oregon, one the Northwest capitals of hip music), this rock trio settled down at their in-home recording studio to shape a 12-track album of oxymoronic experimental pop. Creative lyrics set to imaginative rhythms make the entire CD a success and a soundtrack suitable for any experience. The Menomena MySpace quote reads: “Bracing for the backlash!” Let’s hope that’s true. Now that Friend & Foe has dropped, the word is out, and the buzz will be quick to follow. — Nicole de Ayora

Persiphone%27s_bees.jpgPersephone’s Bees Notes from the Underworld Sony/Columbia; August 2006

The first single from this San Francisco band’s debut reminds you instantly of one of those early ’60s pop/funk tunes, like something you might hear during a montage in Ocean’s Eleven. This is mainly due to the hurried, syncopated drum and guitar parts that intertwine to create catchy and head-nodding grooves. Singer Angelina Moysov tends to dip into a soft and relaxed feel during the verses, almost à la Nico at times, though she picks up her energy for the chorus, as she should. For those not looking for just another pop record, Notes is a pleasant surprise with its tinges of progressive elements, keeping things interesting after the first few listens. — PM

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