On their second album, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah deliberately distance themselves from the jittery, jangly ditties that made the Philly/Brooklyn band's 2005 debut an indie rock sensation. Some Loud Thunder offers dark and unsettling art songs full of distorted vocals, ghostly pianos and inverted arrangements: monochromatic foregrounds, colorful textures submerged in the backgrounds.

Whereas Clap Your Hands' first album garnered comparisons to early Talking Heads, Thunder moves forward into “Fear of Music” territory, with producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips) playing Eno's role and providing the literal bells and figurative whistles. It's inconsistent, but often rewarding.

Clap Your Hands knows how to work unusual hooks into unexpected places. “Emily Jean Stock” buzzes with call-and-response vocals, fuzzed-out guitars and, well, clapping hands and thunderous drums. The grating “Arm and Hammer” and plodding “Yankee Go Home” come across as self-consciously arty, but the lilting “Underwater (You and Me),” pulsing “Satan Said Dance” and over-saturated title track earn their weirdness.

Grade: B