Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand (Domino Records) Releasing an eponymous debut album on the cusp of perceived greatness worked for The Clash, The Smiths and Suede, but it's a risky tactic nevertheless. Scotland's Franz Ferdinand haven't quite delivered the classic that the Bauhaus cover art hints at, but they have demonstrated formidable potential and a knack for energetic tunes. In places it all comes together, notably the single Take Me Out, and a cluster of other tracks that seem destined for brief visits to the charts (they recently delivered a killer performance on Top Of The Pops). Certainly they're derivative, but Franz Ferdinand's mix-and-match methodology works well, especially on Auf Achse, Darts Of Pleasure and Jacqueline - songs that best showcase the band's sound: thumping 1980s bass, spikey guitar lines, galloping drums, and wailing new romantic-style vocals from the angst side of the rain-lashed Glasgow tracks. It is all sufficiently disparate and engaging to have made them the current darlings of the British press - who have ominously compared them to defunct retro new wavers Elastica. In this connection, it might be time for guitarist Nick McCarthy to eschew the trebly two-note riffs and develop a more sophisticated approach, especially with such a bombastic rhythm section behind him. In any event, Franz Ferdinand's follow-up is widely anticipated. And on the evidence of this adventurous debut, they're not going to stand still.