As every good history student knows, Franz Ferdinand was the Austrian archduke whose assassination sparked off Word War 1. A suitably portentous name, then, for the most-hyped new indie band in years - a Glasgow-based group of art students with floppy hair, colourful shirts and a distinctly cooler-than-thou attitude. Thankfully, any feelings of cynicism are dispelled by their eponymous debut album - it really is as good as all the hype suggests. True, there's nothing particularly original about their music, which blends New Wave guitars with New Order baselines, topped off with the arch vocals of Alex Kapranos. But it's done with such style and self-belief that the band emerge as fascinating personalities in their own right, smart, metropolitan and ultra-sophisticated. Most importantly of all, these knowing Scots actually make an effort to write interesting lyrics, crafting a string of slyly humorous dramas about seedy parties, empty celebrity and homosexuality that recall the best of Pulp. FF are one of those rare bands that seem to have emerged from the womb as fully-fledged pop stars. For them - and us - the year could hardly have gotten off to a better start.