When Nouvelle Vague's self-titled debut came out a couple of years back, it was hard to believe more people hadn't picked up on the brilliantly simple concept of performing steely 80s post-punk in a breezy bossa nova style. The reason that album really worked, though, was because the French crew picked the most obvious new-wave-tastic hits -- Love Will Tear Us Apart, I Melt With You -- to guarantee only a flicker of confusion before you figured out the singalong hit underlying the loungey rhythms and disaffected Euro-girl vocals. Bande A Part keeps that winning formula but falters slightly. The same rotating vocalists do their best with stylishly awkward readings of Billy Idol, Echo & the Bunnymen and Blondie songs, but too many tracks are just obscure enough that you miss the punchline. The odd über-Esquivellian swing through Heart Of Glass almost makes up for it, but not quite. Nouvelle Vague hit the Mod Club tonight (Thursday, September 14).