Review Summary: Over a cascade of PR ambiguity and lavish hype leaps a romantic intensity not heard in years of alternative music.
WU LYF at the outset appeared to be an enigma of mysterious origin. A single ‘band’ photo was released, where they appeared as a hipster, anarchist cult, gathered by a fire in a car park, ready for some rolling skirmishes with riot police. ‘Go Tell Fire to the Mountain’ is the first genuine opportunity to assess the band from an objective, musical perspective, and it exceeds the hype, laying down ten tracks which threaten to turn the current ‘scene’ on its head.
The most surprising element of Go Tell Fire To The Mountain though, is the unison. On previous versions of tracks featured on the record the stretched-out guitars offered the impression that our society was cascading apart; the snarling, spiteful renditions brought a cool terror upon the sound, none of which features on the LP. As the record sounds out with ‘Heavy Pop’, we hear a sparkle of piano before mezzo-forte chords ring, and a clean and vibrant guitar chimes. The lyrics, “but you know the freedom that my brother saw / it deep down / it in your heart,” come as a desperate cry. Go Tell Fire To The Mountain is a romantic outburst from a disillusioned and dejected group hoping to stand in the crowd but ultimately standing out.
Songs “We Bros” and “Heavy Pop” are continent-wide and rousing by default and perhaps the albums standout moment, the larynx straining "Spitting Blood" provides us with the most brutally brilliant intro heard in years. The inevitable result of the well-tested combination of tribal drumming and shivering, slowly ascending guitar lines. There is poetry to the assumed disparity of the album, and it is nothing short of miraculous that the term 'epic' hasn't been used yet. It would be very easy to be cynical of Go Tell Fire To The Mountain, but the wealth of material and confidence in the album cannot fail to convert the doubters to the cult of WU LYF.