It's a bit strange that Californian band Iglu & Hartly were signed to Mercury Records in the UK; their rock/rap/pop hybrid is the sort of stuff that usually goes down like an In-N-Out burger in their homeland. Nonetheless, the quintet - three of whom met at college in Colorado before moving to the east coast to pursue music full-time - have enjoyed success in Britain with their single 'In the City'.
This sort of musical composite is nothing new; Crazy Town hit upon a winning formula in the '90s with their crossbreed of hip-hop, rock and pop, and even recently, Gym Class Heroes have attained similar success. What differentiates them from Iglu & Hartly is that the latter's sound is a lot more new-wave and guitar-based, with many of the songs on '& Then Boom' sounding like they've been ripped straight from a Tears for Fears, Talk Talk or Blondie b-side.
Don't get too excited by those references, though; promising interludes are completely destroyed by the often cringeworthy rapping that's slathered unmercifully over them. Violent & Young, for example, would be just fine (if completely derivative) without the tacky sloganeering of Jarvis Anderson, as would the overwrought We'll See. Iglu & Hartly's most passable endeavours are the songs on which they don't try to force so many clashing genres together, i.e. the sweet, sugary bounce of DayGlo and the catchy hip-hop of Tomorrow.
By the time you reach & Then Boom's final track - if you get that far - it's clear why the quintet have named themselves as a duo. This is an album of two different, disjointed and discordant bands - neither with any direction, and both offering only minimal splashes of fun.