The Phenomenal Handclap Band The Phenomenal Handclap Band
- Words: Justin Hopper
- Label: Friendly Fire
- XLR8R Rating: 6/10
“All that money/Still ridin’ the bus.” With a little bit of contemporary panache and a whole lot of mid-‘70s throwback neologism, NYC hipsters The Phenomenal Handclap Band have solved the soundtrack riddle for today’s juxtaposition of economic terrorism and unfounded optimism. Bolan-esque glittering guitars (“Dim the Lights”), proto-rap à la Missy Dee (“15 to 20”), and the cult-like sounds of psychedelic Aquarian-age rare groove (complete, at times, with flutes) combine to create a new sound birthed of ‘70s cultural disarray. It’s not always successful—see the six-minute Crazy Horse guitar workout on “The Martyr”—but at its finest glam-disco moments, PHB is as flowery, rump-shakin’, and secretly cynical as the world it inhabits.
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