You know, up until a couple of weeks ago, I never thought I'd want to play a Bright Eyes record ever again. Their early records had sounded naive, passionate and interesting. But Conor Oberst's default schtick soon lost it's charm for me, closer resembling a kind of whingeing verbal diarrhoea. I know he was still pretty young - he's only about 27 now - but his pretensions still seemed rooted in adolescence, like a clever 16-year-old trying to cram all the ideas, images and words he knows into one song.


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"Brianstorm", the new Arctic Monkeys single, turned up in the Uncut office yesterday, and it's a relief to report that our first impressions weren't wrong. It's good.


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Thanks to all your responses over the past few days. A couple of people have asked me to write about the Kings Of Leon and Modest Mouse albums, both of which I have here. But to be honest, I'm not hugely keen on either (save the first track of the Kings album, "Knocked Up", which is the best thing they've done by far). The point of Wild Mercury Sound, I guess, is simply to write about things I care for.


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I suspect few records released in 2007 are going to provoke as much argument as this second Arcade Fire album, "Neon Bible". A week before the official release date, you can already feel it coming, as inexorable as the tidal waves and imprecations of doom that fill Win Butler's lyrics.


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Thanks for all your comments on the Arctic Monkeys blog. Hopefully, I should have my own copy of the album in a few weeks, and I'll post something more considered than last week's effort once I've listened to it more than once. In the meantime, I figured I should allay one or two fears.


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So we’re sitting in Domino’s new offices, somewhere on an industrial estate in Wandsworth. There’s a train track outside one window, a gas holder outside the other, and some old Pavement and Sebadoh posters on the floor. Then there’s this massive crash of very heavy drums and guitars. The new Arctic Monkeys album has started, it seems.


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I'm not sure what kind of symmetry this represents, but Richard Swift's new album begins with the sound of tapdancing and nears a close with him crooning, rather sweetly, "I wish I were dead most of the time." "Dressed Up For The Letdown" is Swift's third album, and is a concept album of sorts. It's about a singer-songwriter - let's call him Richard Swift - who struggles for years without success, cursing the ignorance of the labels who refuse to sign him.


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I worry, occasionally, that this blog has started to give the impression we spend our days at Uncut listening to nothing but serious, respectable artists with a good decade or two of critical acclaim under their belts. Of course, we do listen to Cave, and Bowie, and Neil Young, and Cat Power, and a hell of a lot of Grateful Dead at the moment. You might not believe this, but Allan even digs out a dusty Dylan CD from time to time.


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Looking for facts in Nick Cave lyrics is a bit of a dumb game. If you were to take everything he's said at face value, he'd have been dead long ago: hanged for murder, perhaps, at some point in the 19th Century.


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It's not often, I must admit, that I have a reason to visit Chanel's website. But there's a great video on there at the moment that amounts to an unveiling of Cat Power's new live line-up. It's quite a shock.


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Editor's Letter

The 28th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


There's a song on this new Purling Hiss album, playing again now, that sounds more or less like "Debaser" played by Dinosaur Jr. Along with the intensely spirited debut by Mary Timony's Ex-Hex and a comp of the pre-...