x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

This basically is a solo project for the singer Alec Ounsworth, who takes advantage of the newfound freedom in Only Run.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Only Run (CYHSY)

Two stars ⋆⋆

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have experienced both sides of internet fame. Nearly 10 years ago, their self-titled debut album was discovered in the blogosphere and the group created a stir without even landing a record deal. However, with each consecutive album gathering diminishing returns, the Philadelphia rockers neared the point of extinction with three members taking off to leave the singer Alec Ounsworth as the only original member. Basically now a solo project for Ounsworth, he takes advantage of the new-found freedom in Only Run. The dance-rock focus of the past has now, for better or worse, made way for layered synths and airy drums with Ounsworth’s vocals hanging suspended above it all. As Always is an inauspicious opener with his nasally croon drifting in and out of the sturdy drums. The languid pace continues with the digital dirge that is Blameless; the title track gladly picks up the pace through its assertive bass line and punchy vocals. The rest of the album unfortunately wallows in dense atmospherics rather than making a clear impression, making Only Run another misstep in this once-promising band’s career.

sasaeed@thenational.ae