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Friday, July 4, 2008
Recently selected as one of the best independent labels in North America by XLR8R Magazine, Canada's Paper Bag Records is responsible for exposing the world to underground rock faves Broken Social Scene, Stars and Tokyo Police Club. And Toronto's Uncut are the label's latest signee to attract international attention.
Formed in 2002 as a duo, Uncut released a pair of DJ-friendly club singles that merged techno and rock sounds before laptop-toting member Jake Fairley relocated to Berlin, leaving multi-instrumentalist Ian Worang to rebuild the group as a postpunk quartet. Their 2004 debut, "Those Who Were Hung Hang Here," drew comparisons with Joy Division, netting oodles of positive press and an invitation from former Husker Du/Sugar frontman Bob Mould to open his 2006 North American tour.
Produced by drummer Jon Drew, their excellent sophomore effort, "Modern Currencies," complements moody, melodic structures with soaring, noisy guitar lines that bring to mind 1990s alt-rock stalwarts Dinosaur Jr. and Swervedriver (for whom Uncut opened during their Toronto reunion stop in June). Released by Paper Bag in late 2006 in Canada, Japan's Fifty One Records issued the album domestically (with two previously unreleased bonus tracks) this spring.
Uncut will perform three Japanese dates in support of the disc in July. Expect to hear a mix of old cuts and newly penned material played very, very loudly, with many selections morphing into wonderfully distorted walls of sound that will leave your ears ringing long after the shows end.
Uncut play July 8, 8 p.m. at Junkbox Mini, Niigata (¥3,000,  5229-1494); 9, 6:30 p.m. at O-Nest, Tokyo (¥3,400,  3271-3185); 10, 6 p.m. at Drunkard's Stadium, Chiba (¥2,000,  7199-2751). For full tour details, visit www.51records.com.