WU LYF – Go Tell Fire to the Mountain

Those two distinct features are the mixture of organ with soft guitar notes and the guttural, unnatural vocal grunts that they’re set behind. With the album’s well-timed pacing and all the shout-along choruses, “Go Tell Fire To The Mountain” is easily one of the best, most cathartic surprises in indie rock this year.

Not a whole heck of a lot is currently known about the World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation except that they have an awesome name; are from Manchester, UK; have a Tumblr full of collaged cut-out images, photos and posters from the road; and that they seem to lyrically promote simple messages using poor diction.

I think the last of these is a device for focusing on the feel of shouting along with their choruses, which are especially powerful on “Bros” and “Heavy Pop,” the latter of which is a tag the band seems to be using to promote itself. I’m not sure I agree completely, but the emotional heft of these songs does seem massive, and they do show off pop conventions with their clear love of choruses, however indecipherable.

And speaking of that freaky vocal grunting, here’s a brief list of other sounds that Ellery James Roberts, Thomas David Francis McClung and Evans Kati remind me of when they all open up their throats together:

• Tom Waits.

• All of the individual little vocal tics in “Gloria,” that make it sound like Patti Smith’s trying really hard to gross you out.

• The parts of Kings of Leon songs when Caleb Followill sputters something especially sexually explicit (see:  “Soft” from “Aha Shake Heartbreak”).

A few other notes: “Dirt” is an especially aggressive, rhythmic number, the beginning of which reminds me very much of Oklahoma City’s Colourmusic. Drummer Joseph Louis Harlan Manning could, at times, very well be Keith Moon, reincarnate. And one of these songs will probably be on my year-end Top 10 list, but I’m not sure which yet. It’s music that’s bizarre, but meaningful — the kind of thing you want to go share with somebody else immediately. Maybe that’s what the title is supposed to convey? –Matt Carney 

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Matt Carney

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