Friday, November Twenty-Three, WU LYF breaks up publicly via Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IYP28s_-1VA) via Twitter (@FUCKWU). A simple link to a static clip of unreleased track ‘TRIUMPH’ punctuated by an ‘x’ is all the tweet read. Jump to song, scan to description, read parting note in general, then parting note to bandmates from lead man Ellery James Roberts. Written in grandiose metaphors as he was apt to do, Roberts lays it all out on the table and I can’t help but feel him. At his age, at my age, it’s the time to question, ‘what greatness is meant for me to stake a claim? Is this it? Let me find out.’
Roberts says, “By the time I wrote this I was all ready gone.” Whether he was referring to the song or the note is lost on me, but he might as well have written it back before April Twenty-Three of this year when I saw WU LYF play the Rock ‘n Roll Hotel in DC. Here are the thoughts I scribbled that evening about the show:
I came into the venue with the expectation that these guys would come out like some Mancunian militia with the way they present themselves cryptically through their revolution recruitment-style sites. Then they come out on stage…just four skinny white dudes. Perhaps their eyes are wider than their stomachs. [This may prove telling for Ellery James Roberts, at least].
Bright, crisp guitar chords chime in beautiful contrast to the pounding drums, rasping vocals, and knelling organ. The guitarist and bassist kept it simple and relaxed – lazy upon first glance – but its shimmering innocence truly does provide the perfect, necessary foil for the otherwise dark, funereal aura. The drumming and crooning would ultimately hit visceral emotional highs in a crowd-embracing frenzy.
Beyond the material of their brilliantly themed and named debut album, Go Tell Fire to the Mountain, the band didn’t have much material to fill stage time. A nifty cover of Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Games’ added a bit, but when pleaded from the crowd to play some new material guitarist, Evans Kat, replied, “We’ll play new stuff when we write new stuff,” with a wry grin on his face. That struck me as odd seeming as how they released their album in June of the previous year. I gave them the benefit of the doubt though…some groups are constantly writing while others need to step back and conceptualize. Since Go Tell Fire was stuffed with recurring motifs both lyrically and musically, I would have imagined that the next album would be entirely fresh.
I would later find out (just today, 11/23/2012), that Roberts had claimed an end to the project as early as March of last year, prior to the show I had attended. No wonder they were havin’ a laugh about ‘new material’. There would be none to speak of…for now. Roberts says “forever,” but, “the door will always be open.” Perhaps he’ll find the only way to save the world is through WU LYF. We shall see; until then, we love you forever.