This weekend a couple of British music sites posted about a countdown at Bloc Party’s homepage. Turns out the countdown was for the unveiling of Bloc Party’s new single “Mercury,” premiered an hour ago on the BBC’s Zane Lowe show. Minutes later and before you could even say “radio rip,” YouTube lit up with an official Ace Norton-directed video for the tune. Very “Flux“-y of them.

The song’s something a little different for the band for its minimal guitars, although the Brits’ core constituents (i.e. Kele and Matt Tong) are doing what they like to do most: Kele yelping rhythmically here, finding a melody there, Tong offering very danceable beats. But if you remember Kele’s beef with Jack White, he will not just entertain without getting provocative because that would just be “complicit with capitalist society.” And so the refrain lyric “Mercury’s in retrograde,” which is astrological speak for “everything’s going to shit,” is demonstrated video-wise by images suggesting the White House is possessed by a politically demonic Frankenstein type creature that is beholden to omniscient, crystal-ball toting, videogame loving apes who love to fight wars over bananas because they are crazy and uncaring and really love bananas. You might further argue that this was probably too literal a reading of the video but I failed out of Metaphors and Subtext in college, sorry.

If you want to buy a disc box version of this song, which seriously won’t make you complicit with capitalist society because at least you thought about war, you can head to

Comments (32)
  1. Sigh. I tried very hard to like everything up to this point.

  2. this video is terrible

    but this song is so fucking good

  3. MF McNutt  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2008 0

    There is no Yuma New Mexico. Yuma is in Arizona.

  4. brooks  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2008 0

    Oh wow. That was not good at all. Bloc Party has been all downhill since Silent Alarm. Well, now that I think about it, “Two More Years” wasn’t bad at all. But since then, mostly junk.

  5. Lauren  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2008 0

    This song made me toss my cookies.

  6. Billy Pilgrim  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2008 0

    This guy notices a similarity between “Mercury” and a Peter Gabriel track:

    Can’t say I disagree…

  7. Duh  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2008 0

    Wait…George W. Bush is bad? It all makes sense!

    Thank you Bloc Party for your subtle look at American politics. And apes.

  8. buzzybear  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2008 0

    this song is so fucking lame. Bloc Party blows.

  9. The Dan  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2008 0

    Similarity? I thought they were sampling Shock The Monkey.

  10. Sean Jean  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2008 0

    Silent Alarm was so f’ing good, and everything since then has been so f’ing not. I don’t get it.

  11. patty  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2008 0

    This song is terrible… there is really not much to say. I was looking forward to this so much – now I am sad. It sounds like they had Mark Ronson produce it with all the horns. Also where are Russell and Gordy? They’ve disappeared on the track.
    Russell’s side-project Pin Me Down is far more fulfilling in my opinion…. on their – it’s pretty dance oriented too, but the songs have edge and clear melodies. P

  12. Eh.. this is still better than Fleet Foxes.

  13. I don’t know… it feels like they’re just trying to tag along with the current music trend, aka dance-y and electronic. But maybe that’s what’s floating their boat at the moment, who knows.

  14. Why do the English always comment on our situation and not theirs? Racism, the BNP, how they destroyed Africa…….there’s a lot of issues they can tackle.

    • Greg  |   Posted on Jul 8th, 2008 0

      Don’t forget Iraq and much of the middle East for that matter. Although they would never admit it, much of the problems that were and are occurring in Iraq were because of Britain and France after WW I. They were the ones that created an entire country, instead of seperating the sects up.

  15. Lee Taylor  |   Posted on Jul 9th, 2008 0

    I kept waiting for a hook that, sadly, never arrived. Pretty lousy.

  16. james  |   Posted on Jul 9th, 2008 0

    Kele is really annoying lately. Why did they abandon their sound from silent alarm. That was an excellent album!

  17. ames  |   Posted on Jul 9th, 2008 0

    yeah, i couldn’t tell what i thought of this song because i was distracted by the video. and I agree, Kele has been totally annoying. hopefully they’re live show will still totally rock when i go and see them again at lolla.

  18. this song was boring as can be and nothing compared to what Silent Alarm was. and this video…was just stupid. even the message it was giving was nothing anyone from the UK should be giving.

  19. candy  |   Posted on Jul 10th, 2008 0

    Am I the only one who likes this song? I think it’s pretty sexy. Good for them to change their sound to however they want. They obviously didn’t want to use Silent Alarm as a crutch.

  20. Ughhh….I’m so sick of these English bands already. Next!

  21. Andrew  |   Posted on Jul 10th, 2008 0

    They need to spend less weekends in the city

  22. Jake  |   Posted on Jul 10th, 2008 0

    I don’t know if I love it, but it IS stuck in my head, which is more than I can say for any on Weekend in the City.

  23. Steve  |   Posted on Jul 11th, 2008 0

    he ripped the chorus from a book i have read, but i cant remember which one.

    I swear its a straight rip

  24. owo  |   Posted on Jul 12th, 2008 0

    I think Bloc Party is quite possibly the worst band in the world. They have perverted indie-rock into frat anthem. They’re not so bad that they can be ignored; they’ll still write a song that will stick in your head — which only magnifies their horribleness in my view, because they make you unwillingly complicit in the grotesque mutiliation of all that is good.

  25. eric  |   Posted on Jul 13th, 2008 0

    That is a retarded comment. Although I hate their new direction and Kele, Silent Alarm was fuckiing awesome.

  26. RK  |   Posted on Jul 14th, 2008 0

    damn that video blows.
    here’s my opinion.
    first impressions are key with songs sometimes, and so, hearing this song for the first time with this vid automatically means I won’t like it.
    I don’t think the song is very good, but i’ll bet i, along with at least one of you, may have liked it better had the video have been better. perhaps them playing it live.
    just a thought.

  27. Laura  |   Posted on Jul 19th, 2008 0

    I agree with candy. This song is brilliant. The video isn’t of great standard, admittedly, but it’s still really clever. Who cares what book the chorus is from, or what the message of the song is, it’s still a good song, and lots of people like it. No-one really cares about the nature of the song to be honest. And all you American’s can say what you like about Britain, we all know it’s just an attempt to cover up your own problems caused by your lousy president, who YOU voted for. Say what you want, this song is by far one of Bloc Party’s best. And if you wanna have a pop at me about it, go ahead. I probably won’t be back on here to see it. Lol.

  28. benjamin  |   Posted on Aug 3rd, 2008 0

    the song is awesome, better than flux-an indie band moving away from the scene and trying to be different, you have to admire that, and the song in it’s own right is quality.

    the video is immense-so so cool, politics in music is good so long as it is dealt with sensitively.

    as for the BNP, racism and Africa-well africa was over 50 years ago so it’s not exactly a current affair, the BNP is an extreme right wing party-they’re everywhere and only an idiot needs education on why they’re shit, and i’m pretty sure racism is a broad topic to discuss in 3 minutes.

    anyway bloc party rule cant wait to see this live at reading :)

  29. ding dong  |   Posted on Aug 18th, 2008 0

    didnt like this song at first but love it now. cant wait to see this live at somepoint, prefably brixton academy

  30. Rich  |   Posted on Aug 19th, 2008 0

    Terrible. Just terrible.

  31. Sean  |   Posted on Sep 2nd, 2008 0

    Am I the only one who liked the “Weekend in the City?” Apparently I live in a box under a bridge by a river, because I had never heard of Silent Alarm until AFTER I had heard WITC. I still prefer their second album and perhaps really like the new single and new album because I was introduced to the 2nd album first. Had I been a Silent Alarm lover the new shit would likely piss me off as it has so many others. I don’t get the animus around this new style and approach. It’s the evolution of the band.. you indie snobs out there thinking Silent Alarm was some sort of precedent for EVERYTHING the band does in the future should think about riding the short bus. Had WITC been followed by SA there would be folks lamenting the loss of the electronic elements and the “attempt at indie”…. y’know what? Fuck it. Like what you like, just don’t get all uptight when a band decides to grow ahead of your own plodding and static outlook. Which would you prefer? A predictable band like the Stones, Aerosmith or U2 whom put the same shit out over and over?? I’ll take a Radiohead style OK Computer to Kid A evolution anytime over that. Look what they’ve become, and what Bloc Party has the potential to be. Keep your blinders on and hope for more of the same if you like. I’ll be spinning the new album in the meantime.

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