Forget about the media frenzy, forget the lack of interviews, forget the little online presence and the air of apparent ‘mystery’ drummed up by the band in order to gain our attention. It is all about what you do with all that attention once you have it and what Wu Lyf have done with it is to release a very accomplished debut album to a glued audience.
With a name that sounds like a cry of elation; Wu Lyf (World Unite! Lucifer Youth Foundation) carry that same sense of elation over into their first album ‘Go Tell Fire To The Mountain’. From the opening track ‘LYF’, the churn of an archaic organ and bright bursts of guitar, this album has moments that could belong to the recordings of a Jim Jones style religious cult. Add to that the vocals which are often shouting, constantly raspy and always powerful and you have a record which sounds like it is offering religious salvation.
Lyrically, the whole affair is fairly ambiguous, although the snippets you can catch seem so laden with emotion that you feel the rest must be cries of either heart wrenching trauma or complete joy. The production is low-key, heavy reverb over crashing drums and fiery vocals, making everything seem more haunting than as abrasive that much noise could be. Each track rolls into the next as though it is just part of one large movement. Although there is stand out singles so to speak such as ‘Spitting Blood’, the albums production style means you’re looking at the bigger picture, each track being a small piece of a much greater structure.
Wu Lyf’s success will be dogged by claims that their ambiguity and mystery are their biggest selling point. However, this album proves that it’s not a case of style over substance and the band’s success will be down to releasing a record which leaves you taken aback. Sounding joyous yet heavy with woe at the same time is no small feat for a first album, but this is what bands from Manchester have mastered a niche doing and Go Tell Fire To The Mountain has Wu Lyf standing tall next to them.
Go Tell Fire To The Mountain is out now on LYF, you can check out the video for single ‘Dirt’ below and find out more at wulyf.org