WU LYF – Go Tell Fire To The Mountain
(LYF Recordings, 2011)
WU LYF (pronounced Woo Life) are World United! Lucifer Youth Foundation and no, they are not the newest black metal band from Brooklyn. They are a ‘heavy pop’ band from Manchester, England and now you know more than I did when I first listened to Go Tell Fire To The Mountain. I count myself among the lucky few who were able to listen to this record without any bias or back-story to cloud our judgement. So I recommend you do yourself a favor and stop reading now. Join the ‘music first, image and aesthetics second foundation‘ and make a decision based on the music contained within instead of all the noise floating around the parameter. Go listen to the album!
You still here? OK, fine, suit yourself. In the beginning WU LYF shrouded themselves in secrecy, refused to grant interviews, charged for demos and snubbed all label advances. Youtube was flooded with strange videos, causing journalists and bloggers to wet themselves with every click. They built their own hype from behind the curtain and somehow I missed the whole thing. Yeah for me! Turns out they had a distribution deal with Universal and in this case, finding the answers behind the mystery turned out to be a lot less gratifying than everyone had hoped.
As always, with the hype comes the backlash. Death, taxes and expletives on Internet message boards. WU LYF are no exception. For every perfect score, there is a critic claiming it’s all been done before. In the case of Go Tell Fire To The Mountain I couldn’t agree more. This is the pop album I was looking for. The summer album that I was afraid didn’t exist. But yes, it’s all been done before. I have rarely had this much fun listening to an album for the first time, but I also rarely rack up so many obvious influences either. Vampire Weekend, Wolf Parade, The Walkmen, MGMT, Animal Collective, Yeasayer, even Kings of Leon. This album is like silly putty that has been smashed and spread out all over the place and when you peel it back you have fragments of everything that has happened over the past few years, all smeared and smudged — held together by a rubber substitute. Remember how much fun silly putty was as a kid? This album is just as much fun!
So what does this mean? It means you are either going to like this album or you are not. Give it a spin, see if it grabs you. Does it feel epic? Does it feel forced? Do you love or hate the almost indecipherable vocals? Do you think it plagiarizes everything that came before or do you think this experiment in reverb-laden, heavy pop is the future? You’ll have to answer these questions for yourself. (read some of the reviews below if you like your opinion handed to you instead) As for me, I’m going to take myself out of the argument and keep Spitting Blood on repeat as I go outside to enjoy the summer sun like a golden god. It’s the only fair thing to do, because after reading so much about this band I feel like my review would be silly putty as well — minus all the fun stuff.