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CD Review: The Phenomenal Handclap Band

The Phenomenal Handclap Band (Friendly Fire)

This artsy NYC collective juggles genres almost as skillfully as it juggles members. Spearheaded by a pair of former club DJs, the Phenomenal Handclap Band run through a dizzying array of sounds on their debut album. Opener "Journey to Serra da Estrela" starts as a lazy-day psych trip before zooming off into a space-age-synth and '70s-organ funktopia. "All of the Above" assimilates LCD Soundsystem's hipster shakes. And "Testimony" could be the house soundtrack at an upscale martini bar. And these are just the first three songs. By the time the nine-minute "The Circle Is Broken" wraps the record and heads to the afterparty, Lady Tigra, Jon Spencer and TV on the Radio's Jaleel Bunton have dropped by for some old-school hip-hop, tranquil chill, horn-speckled R&B and straight-up rock. The Phenomenal Handclap Band is like iTunes shuffle come to life. — Gallucci

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