With WU LYF garnering considerable buzz before, during and after the release of their debut album Go Tell Fire To The Mountain, you'd be inclined to think they were doing something pretty special here and in truth they kind of are. The instrumental interplay between Joe Manning on Drums, Evans Kati on Guitar, Tom McClung on bass is pretty inspired. They tend to build their songs from the bottom up; starting off with either a martial drum beat, a few reverberated guitar chords, or some sombre organ creating a meditative atmosphere before ratcheting up a bundle tension by speeding up the tempo and increasing the volume. This may sound like a run of the mill description of any post rock outfit, but theirs to much of an emphasis on restraint and melody for them to be saddled with this tag. Oh and they've also got a singer, which is generally rendered a no no in that genre.
I conveniently forgot to mention Ellery Roberts before now because despite some nice organ playing his voice irritates the hell out of me. i wouldn't normally pull the "I can't listen to someone unless they can sing like Pavarotti card" but there's just something about his faux Tom Waits/Bruce Springsteen howl that i find terribly contrived. I'll admit the music despite being atmospheric does need a commanding vocalist in order to really bring these songs alive just not someone like Ellery. For the record i love Tom Waits and have a Fondness for the boss, but they wouldn't sound great if Explosions in the Sky or The War On Drugs were packing them up and that's basically whats happening here. I can only hope the band either find a new vocalist or their current lead singer learns to sing in such a way as to actually complement the music the band is creating here. If so, they maybe worth getting truely excited about. As it stands, i'll have to find a way to tune out the annoying wail if i'm ever going to really enjoy listening to this.