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

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

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
. 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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