Anytime you ever have a worry about not fulfilling your potential stick this album on - you'll feel better because you'll realise you're far from alone.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's second album begins with its genius title track, a song so good that not even distorted bass and a scratchy, too loud production can mask its beauty and urgency - up there with the Pixies' 'Here Comes Your Man'. You have to wonder how big it could be with a bit more polish.

And you have to wonder what kind of musicians would come up with such a standout four minutes and then not present them in the best way possible: an outfit who know that their song is so good that its brilliance will shine through no matter what the obstacle, or an outfit who don't realise how good their songs can be? Either way, your fascination and frustration with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah could be the same.

This is one of those albums that's brimming with ideas - good ones, bad ones and half-baked ones - from a band who never want to be the same band twice. They don't always get it right, but you could never accuse them of playing it safe.

Harder to tolerate, however, is how they and producer David Fridmann have given 'Some Loud Thunder' such a tinny production. Having worked on Mercury Rev's 'Deserter's Songs', Mogwai's 'Come on Die Young' and Gemma Hayes' 'Night on my Side', Fridmann has shown his gift for atmospherics; what's on offer here is too rough to impress.

Despite that, the quality of some songs is undeniable. 'Upon Encountering the Crippled Elephant' has a swirling melancholy that's the best of CYHSY's more out-there moments while at the other end of the spectrum the joyous bounce of 'Arm and Hammer' deserves a look-in on wedding dancefloors worldwide. In between there are blips and jokes ('Satan Said Dance'), reverence towards 1960s sounds ('Mama, Won't You Keep the Castles in the Air and Burning?') and enough self-sabotage and mischief making to have most managers sweating cannonballs.

But by the end, however, you could be thinking that the biggest risk Clap Your Hands Say Yeah could take is to think less art school and more pop. There could be a talent for a singalong that's just waiting to be unleashed.

Harry Guerin