WU LYF, Crystal Antlers | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

WU LYF, Crystal Antlers Agenda Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Mon., Nov. 14, 9:30 p.m. 2011

Early in their short career, WU LYF (it's an acronym for "World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation") managed to be both enigmatic and astronomically hyped. Critics loved the chicken-or-the-egg debate—are they hyped because they're enigmatic, or did they use the hype to create the enigma? So by the time the Manchester young 'uns finally shed some light on their faces, stopped deleting their Wikipedia page, and began doing interviews to promote the release of Go Tell Fire to the Mountain (LYF Recordings), they'd already manipulated the machine to perfection. Recorded in a disused church, the foursome's debut album has a surreal amount of guts, dirt, and youthful soul. It feels ornately massive yet DIY to the bone, a freakishly impassioned sermon meant for a crowd of themselves—I suspect it'll crack more than a few top-ten lists at the end of the year. WU LYF work in an infinite space, complementing sparse, delay-heavy guitar work that's not terribly unlike Explosions in the Sky with church organs and raspy, anthemic choruses full of monster hooks. From the first repeated shout of "I love you forever" on album opener "L Y F," Go Tell Fire's "heavy pop" bursts with frenetic energy that ought to translate flat-out fucking great live.

Crystal Antlers' previous album, Tentacles, may have become unfortunately famous as Touch and Go's final new release, but their most recent, Two-Way Mirror (Recreation Ltd.), is a reminder of how jammy-­explosive and psych-weird (in the best way) they can be. On the first two songs, "Jules' Story" and "Seance," Crystal Antlers show off their finely honed talent for scoring freakish, rolling punk-carnival soundtracks. And even when they chill out a bit—songs like "Summer Solstice" have a more mellow, almost spacey kind of trippiness—the album's urgency still comes through. —Kevin Warwick WU LYF headlines; Crystal Antlers open.

Price: $12

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