It’s easy to like the idea of WU LYF (World Unite! Lucifer Youth Foundation). The four man band may actually have more talent for creating mystique than they do for anything else. Until the recent release of Go Tell Fire to the Mountain, they withheld their identities and the name of their band manager from the press. A visit to their website renders intrigued individuals befuddled: no photos of the band, no tangible information about its members, the background flashes with images of police in riot-gear and citizens revolting, and there seems to be an actual non-profit associated with their music, but the descriptions provided read more like a passage from William S. Burroughs than any band or charity bio. Even their Wikipedia page has been repeatedly deleted garnering mouth watering interest from the press. Add the fact that WU LYF actually turned down offers from record companies and chose to produce their first full album themselves, and boom: cult-status fame granted.
The band recorded the album in an empty church instead of a studio, and while this location proves atmospheric and acoustically satisfying, it also creates an undesirable distance between the listener and the music (undesirable to the listener, not necessarily to the band) making the already incomprehensible vocals evermore impossible to decipher. Do we need to know the lyrics? Not necessarily; the singer’s projectile howling rivals some of the most passionate punk vocalists I’ve heard, and although unintelligible, comes across as a rousing call to arms.
The instrumentals take an almost entirely different track. They’re complex and engaging with warm welcoming organ tones. Ultimately, this is where WU LYF is most successful; at times it sounds as if there are two distinct bands playing the same song in unison, and the dissonance between the vocals and the instrumentals can be so satisfying that it makes no difference when one song bleeds into the next without much distinguishable change in anything but pacing. In some ways, the album can be listened to as one long song, a gimmick, which I think WU LYF might want to consider for their next album, if they hope to maintain the hype.