Album review: The Phenomenal Handclap Band – ‘The Phenomenal Handclap Band’

Album review: The Phenomenal Handclap Band - 'The Phenomenal Handclap Band'


Super-sassy New York genre-magpies

New York’s recent wealth of talent may have made it the epicentre of cool, but it’s a scene prone to drowning substance with superficial hyperbole. Yet even when you refuse to subscribe to the myth that you couldn’t lob a brick down one of its streets without sending some hipster sensation to intensive care, someone like The Phenomenal Handclap Band comes along to mess it all up.

Brainchild of NYC DJs Daniel Collás and Sean Marquand, TPHB’s Tardis of

a debut – with the aid of countless guest spots, including members of TV On The Radio and The Mooney Suzuki – cannibalises the music timeline to craft a fun hybrid of funk, soul, ’70s disco, ’60s psych-pop, and prog rock that laughs in the face of the genre.

From its epic superfly opening of ‘The Journey To Serra Da Estrela’ to the trippy psychedelic guitars of ‘Testimony’, this album encapsulates the nostalgic elements of ESG, ELO, Tom Tom Club, The Doors and Sly And The Family Stone, applies a gloss of New York cool and then re-packages it with the modern production of the LCD Soundsystem, CSS and Beck variety. Forget the handclap, they’ll take a standing ovation.

Stephen Kelly

Click here to get your copy of ‘The Phenomenal Handclap Band’ from the Rough Trade shop