The name Phenomenal Handclap Band may suggest a novelty act, but this Brooklyn-based outfit challenges no conventions. Instead it combines disco, dance and rock elements with varying levels of success, on second album Form & Control at least.

When they nail it they really nail it. Opening number ‘Following’ is funky and addictive, the sort of tune that could bounce around in your head for ages. It has mine.

Other highlights include the disco-flavoured ‘The Right One’ and the wonderfully titled ‘The Unknown Faces at Father James Park’, an electro number whose emotionless verses contrast delightfully with a warm chorus.

Unfortunately, there is a marked dip in quality about halfway in, which coincides with the increasing dominance of guitars. While the autumnal ‘All Clichés’ provides a late lift, other tracks such as ‘Give’ and ‘Mirrors’ slide by without really registering. And it’s hard to imagine a more low-key conclusion than that provided by the sketchy ‘The Attempt’.

Very much an album of two halves.

Release Date 13/03/2012 (Tummy Touch)