July 27, 2011

LIVE SHOW REVIEWS: WU LYF w/ Crystal Antlers @ The Echo, L.A. July 26th, 2011


I tried not listening to WU LYF before their show @ The Echo on Tues, 7/26. Resistance was futile. To quote Alice Walker’s The Color Purple: “we are the ones we have been waiting for.” WU LYF’s debut Go Tell Fire To The Mountain channels this ineffable feeling of a universal consciousness, an evolved spirituality for the disaffected youths of the early 2000’s. If you haven’t given WU LYF’s LP a spin by this point, do yourself a long overdue favor. Songs like “Heavy Pop” and “Concrete Gold” (both of which have been on the Superhighway for 18 months now) gain a greater meaning when heard within the album’s overarching concept: a prodigal son kills his father the king then is turned away when he attempts to assume the throne.

You get more bees with honey than with vinegar. WU LYF’s reticence to speak to the media has officially begun to overshadow their music. Their recent Radio 1 interview is quite hilarious, but I could see the casual listener turned off by their caustic demeanor and not give the tunes a proper spin. Transparency is the only answer to speculation. With a level of popularity comes great public expectation, which none of us can control, for such is the nature of human epistemology.

Crystal Antlers’ impassioned set tided fans as they streamed into the venue. Although they weren’t originally listed on the bill, a solid majority of attendees were inside by the third song from the Long Beach, CA natives. We initiated a spirited discussion RE: idea bands vs. song bands – it’s only fitting that an idea band like Crystal Antlers would open for fellow idea band WU LYF. Such distinctions, while often counter-intuitive, prove extremely helpful in this case. By this I mean WU LYF would never tour with The Vaccines or The Arctic Monkeys, for example, since they operate on opposite ends of the indie spectrum.

I was afraid that WU LYF might sound a little sloppy live, since they’ve only played about three dozen shows. I was quite surprised by their tightness and how true they stayed to the LP. This speaks volumes for their unique sound which, despite paying homage to SST, early Modest Mouse, The Pixies, Tom Waits etc., could never be classified as derivative.

I can’t say anything negative about their live performance. Absolutely phenomenal! Their music is imbued with this creative imperative i.e. they make music not because they want to but because they have to. Every measure is joyously cathartic. Those who know the lyrics sing along; everyone else stands transfixed, bobbing to the backbeat. If only they’d done a cover of “Flip Your Wig” or “Teeth Like God’s Shoeshine”, I would rate their performance a perfect 10, but maybe that’s asking too much. Let us hope that WU LYF tour more of America next time around, so they can share their talents with more disenfranchised youths, the listeners who need their music the most.

WU LYF could be the biggest band on the planet if they wanted, but they already are in the hearts of their most devoted followers. – Chris Gedos

WU LYF – Dirt (BBC Radio 1 Session 20/7/11)

Wu Lyf england: (Official) (Myspace) (Facebook)

July 26, 2011 @ Echo Set List:
Cave Song
Summas Bliss
Such A Sad Puppy Dog
Spitting Blood
14 Crowns For Me And Your Friends
Concrete Gold
Heavy Pop
Scissors For Your Hair
We Bros





Reviewed by