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3.9 out of 5 stars21
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 31 January 2012
Wu Lyf (pronounced "woo life") hail from Manchester and are absolutely nothing like you'd expect from that scant information alone. The band drench their sound in floods of reverb and employ the kind of dramatic songwriting that helped put Arcade Fire where they are today, albeit far less theatrical. Singer Ellery James Roberts possess an urgent rasp of a voice and spits out his occasionally inaudible lyrics in such a manner that could divide opinion and lose Wu Lyf as many fans as it could earn them. This is why I adore this record: it genuinely sounds like the band are trying something interesting and new. It's sometimes sparse, sometimes chaotic; both upbeat and mellow. There's been some excellent records released in 2011 and this original and inventive offering from Wu Lyf is one of the best.

Just a quick word about this version of Wu Lyf's 'Go Tell Fire To The Mountain'; it is EXACTLY THE SAME as the other version (white background, colour picture in the centre) released last year. It contains all ten tracks (despite Amazon - at time of writing - only listing the first six) with the only difference being the packaging: instead of a cardboard book-style case (with a slightly annoying 'spine' that could bend and damage easily, especially in the post) this version offers a fold out digipack affair with an arguably cooler photo on the front. Aesthetics aside, there is NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER. Just to clarify!
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on 13 July 2012
I heard this band being played endlessly by the regulars in a Spit and Sawdust Real Ale pub. Soundhound is a great invention!

Just finally got round to buying the CD, it not being the easiest thing to find in Independents.

Musically they remind me of late Factory - early Madchester. I am thinking of bands that hung around the fringes like the Stockholm Monsters and Paris Angels, even down to the very dodgy vocals and pretty rough production. However putting them in a posh studio and getting him to sing properly would I think defeat the object. Wonderful church style Organ underpins tribal rythymns and some very jangly Madchester guitars, all very pleasing on the ears. The vocals will divide opinion and probably limit their commercial potential. Even with the lyric sheet in front of me I cant work out what he is singing! Most of the songs have great choruses too but comprehension isn't aided by deliberately obscure song structures and a tribal chant like delivery which frankly is pretty close to the style of Black Metal vocals!

Incidentally lyrically it is very good rather rebellious in tone, very intense, definitely some sort of call to arms.

At the moment I cant stop listening to it. You could be very cynical about the almost FGTH style marketing Schtick but its the intentional anti-commerciality of the vocals coupled with what are basically very strong indie garage pop songs that convinces me they are the genuine article. In the context of all that I also don't think there's a duff track on it, and Concrete Gold and Dirt are really pretty special.
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on 24 October 2011
On the back on reading the hype and reviews and then listening to the album which is good but dosent grab you immeadiately more of a grower i have just watched WU LYF live at the Kazimier club Liverpool and was blown away by this vey exicting young band. Fantastic gig played in a superb underground venue with a packed assembley of mosh pit devotee's in full surging and crowd surfing frenzy and then like myself a back of room of 30-40 year old something music fans enjoying a WU LYF baptism for the first time.
The album is good but it dosent do anywhere near enough justice to just how good this band is live.
By all means buy the album but if you ever get a chance to see this band live then dont even hesistate for one second. The vocals of a 20 year young lad by the name of Ellery Roberts will astound you with its depth and maturity and gravelled tom waite'esk power and emmotion.Could not believe a voice like that could come from such a young skinny white lad.
A must see band now whilst the ticket costs are low.
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on 28 September 2011
First heard the track 'Dirt" on Radio 1, played by my least favourite dj, who nevertheless usually picks pretty good records of the week! I love this album, beautiful soaring melancholic sounds, definitely my album of the year, have played it many times and it still sounds as fresh as when it came out the box....can't understand a word they're saying but it still sounds epic!
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on 19 July 2011
I have come to this album without really knowing much of the 'hype' that have surrounded this band. I listened to an Mp3 of 'Heavy Pop' on pitchfork and having read their review bought the record (as I often do.)

I have been belting this in my car for about a week now and I like it. It sounds very tribal. The drums in particular sound absolutely amazing and along with the swirling, crescendo guitar swoops and soars, the record is an exciting thing to listen to.

What people have issue with it seems is the vocals. It seems everytime someone comes along with a slightly different vocal style (Joanna Newsom, Wild Beasts, Tune Yards) people kick off about it. For me they are fine. Variety is the spice of life after all. Yeh you can't practically make out anything the guy says, but so what? All I know is, his tone, the epic sweep of the music, it makes it clear something big is happening. It sounds anthemic even though you can't really sing along to the grunts and growls which is something in itself.

For me the album starts very strongly (L Y F, Cave Song, Summas Bliss, We Bros, Spitting Blood) and does lose some of its urgency towards the end (except for the great 'Heavy pop') and I think this has something to do with the one criticism I would have, which has been mentioned before on here, and that is the lack of diversity of the record. But, this is a debut record and perhaps that will come with time.

Overall this is a record I think that will keep me interested for a long time and I am looking forward to catching them live to see how these songs sound. I will probably try and read the lyric sheet by then as well!
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on 17 June 2011
I was cautious about the possibly cynical anti marketing marketing but bought the album anyway. It's really good and exposes just how insipid recent "alternative" bands (xx) have been. This is proper. Creative, powerful pop with real guts and distinction. Jangly indie elements but with a full powerful sound that makes this just one of the layers in a deeper, fuller and more complex sound than the jangly bands of the 80s. A belting album.
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on 17 December 2011
I'd heard nothing of the hype before getting this album which probably helped as I was able to just concentrate on the music.

Its a superb album, almost every song is strong and I love the fact they don't sound like anything else out there right now (especially given the unique vocals). The last debut albums I enjoyed as much as this are problem from the Strokes and Libertines, which is hgih praise from me. My only worry is that some of the reviews focussed on the band being a one-trick pony. This is nonsense but I hope they're sensible enough to ignore that sort of nonsense and not let it change what they do (I'm thinking of the Strokes here).
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 June 2011
Whatever your take on Wu Lyf's anti propaganda approach and whether it is a calculated approach or not we finally can hear for ourselves if the hype is actually warranted. On this evidence its a quantified yes. Go Tell Fire To The Mountain is a good album. However, there isn't anything revolutionary or ground breaking here. In fact the roots of this lie in other bands both around Manchester and beyond.

What does it sound like? Well Modest Mouse crossed with the jangly Manchester baggy era guitars is probably the closest I can come to a description. The singer could certainly be mistaken for the lead singer in Modest Mouse as well as their vocal delivery is very similar and won't be to everyone's tastes. The mixing in of an organ is a good add here and works to start the album off well. And the album does take time to build up to its centrepiece of We Bros (anthemic and possibly the best effort here), Spitting Blood and Dirt which uses the backing vocals hauntingly.
The whole wealth of instruments on show here give a very raucous sound and overall this works well, but the tracks aren't quite varied enough from each other and it can feel a bit repetitive when listening and that is the major downfall. The closer, Heavy Pop, is a great track that sounds more considered than some of the others here. Its slow building approach and heavy drums work well to end the whole affair off well.

This is an album and band that will likely divide people. Some will proclaim them to be the next big thing and others will say the hype isn't worth it. However, ignoring the hype here and just listening on merit alone its a solid first album that sometimes feels a little too samey.
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on 27 June 2011
Despite the global recession and growing political interest amoung the youth, when it comes to political bands, despite its rich history, britain has run dry. wu lyf is the band I have been waiting for. The album is a roller coaster of emotions and soundscapes delivered with relentless passion. Just stunning. "We Bros" and "Dirt" are the two stand out tracks of the album, and for me this could well be my album of the year.
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on 3 September 2011
Wu Lyf are a unique band. I had stumbled on their music long before their first album came out and was eager to buy it as soon as it did. Definitely not a disappointment. Mellow melodies blended in rough sound - especially of the vocals. The end result stirs feelings of melancholy.
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